Are Pills a Good Substitute for Exercise to Overcome High Blood Pressure?

by Rishika Gupta on Apr 9 2018 6:18 PM

Are Pills a Good Substitute for Exercise to Overcome High Blood Pressure?
People with high blood pressure are more likely to choose anti-hypertensive pills and tea over an hour of exercise finds a new survey.
In the survey, 79 percent of respondents said they would be willing to take a pill for an extra month of life, and 78 percent said they would drink a daily cup of tea for one extra month of life.

However, only 63 percent said they would be willing to exercise for an extra month of life.

"Our findings demonstrate that people naturally assign different weights to the pluses and minuses of interventions to improve cardiovascular health," said lead author Erica Spatz, Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut.

While "we are good about discussing side effects, rarely do we find out if other inconveniences or burdens may be impacting a person's willingness to take a lifelong medication or to exercise regularly."

Researchers asked nearly 1,500 US adults to imagine that they had high blood pressure and then asked about their willingness to adopt any of four "treatments" to gain an extra month, year or five years of life.

The "treatments" proposed were -- a daily cup of tea, exercise, pills or monthly or semi-annual injections.

Only 68 percent preferred taking semi-annual injections if it would give them an extra month of life.

In addition, a mere 20 percent wanted to achieve gains in life expectancy beyond what any of the individual interventions could provide.

Most survey respondents were under 45, and half were female, and most had high blood pressure.

Hypertension is a leading risk factor for heart and blood vessel, or cardiovascular, disease. Yet, it is often called the silent killer because it causes no symptoms.

The American Heart Association recommends getting regular physical activity, in addition to other lifestyle changes including eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking.