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Most adults don’t know that over-the-counter pain relievers affect blood pressure – Forbes Health

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Although nearly half of all American adults have high blood pressure, only 29% believe over-the-counter pain relievers can increase blood pressure, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the American Heart Association (AHA) . What’s more, only 53% of people diagnosed with high blood pressure see their doctor before taking the drug – a potentially dangerous misstep, as many over-the-counter pain relievers, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium (Aleve), can increase blood pressure.

The survey, which interviewed 2,013 American adults aged 18 and older, also found:

  • Among people with high blood pressure, only 38% believe that over-the-counter pain relievers can increase blood pressure.
  • Only 14% of people with high blood pressure report measuring their blood pressure daily.

Known as the “silent killer” due to its lack of noticeable symptoms, hypertension (or high blood pressure) is determined by consistent systolic readings greater than 130 mmHg and diastolic readings greater than 80 mmHg. It is also a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke in the United States.

There are many lifestyle factors that can help lower blood pressure, and knowing how certain medications affect your body is one of them. If you have high blood pressure and are looking for convenient ways to bring your readings back to normal range, start by talking with your health care provider about potential medications to avoid.

It can also help monitor your blood pressure at home several times a day. This practice keeps you abreast of fluctuations in blood pressure and can reveal how lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, stress, and sleep, may be associated with its elevation.


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