Hospitals May Overprescribe Blood Pressure Meds, Study Finds

The rates of increased medication doses were also the same in those likely to benefit, such as patients with a history of stroke, heart attack or kidney disease, according to the report.

The researchers suggested that hospital doctors should review patients’ prior blood pressure and medication records, and communicate elevated inpatient blood pressure readings to the patient’s primary care doctor after discharge, instead of prescribing more drugs.

Previous studies of hospital records have shown that more than half of all adults are sent home with changes to four or more of their medications, the study authors pointed out.

“While the VA patient population is unique, this research is more about physician prescribing patterns, which are likely to be similar between VA physicians and physicians at other hospitals, as the VA is a major training site for most U.S. medical schools and many residency programs,” Anderson said.

“The practices trainees learn at the VA may influence care down the road, regardless of where they end up practicing medicine,” he concluded.

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