24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
14 Americans From Cruise Ship Hit By Coronavirus Test Positive for InfectionHot Chocolate Could Help Ease Painful Clogged Leg VesselsAntiviral Drug, Plasma Transfusions Show Promise in Treating CoronavirusHow to Dispel Your Child's Fears About the New CoronavirusCholesterol Drugs Might Help Curb 'High-Risk' Prostate CancersCoronavirus Spreads Most Easily When Patients Are Sickest: CDCWill Brushing and Flossing Protect You Against Stroke?Young Black Adults More Prone to Stroke, but Don't Know ItAHA News: Stroke Rates Down for Mexican Americans, Up for White AdultsCoronavirus Cases, Deaths Rise Sharply, While 2 New Cases Reported in U.S.Scientists Spot Antibody That Might Help Diagnose, Treat Autoimmune DisordersCoronavirus in America: Keep Your Panic in CheckCoronavirus Spread Slows, But Death Toll Jumps to 1,113Growing Up in U.S. 'Stroke Belt' Bad for the Brain Later in LifeShingles Vaccine Bonus: Reduced Risk of Stroke?Air Pollution Made in One State Can Cause Deaths in OthersWere You Born in an H1N1 Flu Year or an H3N2? It MattersStricter Clean Air Laws Could Save Thousands of Lives a Year: StudyCoronavirus Fears Have U.S. Pharmacies Running Out of Face MasksCoronavirus Death Toll Tops 1,000, While 13th U.S. Case ConfirmedMeds May Not Prevent Migraines in KidsHigh Testosterone Levels Have Different Health Impact for Men and WomenCoronavirus Cases Top 40,000, While Deaths Hit 908With Macular Degeneration, 1 Missed Visit to Eye Doc Can Mean Vision LossHundreds Suspected, 12 Confirmed: How CDC Identified U.S. Coronavirus CasesFor Patients on Blood Thinners, GI Bleeding May Signal Colon Cancer: StudyStudy Finds 'No Clear Rationale' for 45% of Antibiotic PrescriptionsThere's a Virus Spreading in U.S. That's Killed 10,000: The FluSome U.S. Workers Are Bringing Toxins Home to Their KidsAHA News: Expert Heart Advice for Rare Genetic Muscle Disorder9/11 Study Shows PTSD Tied to Earlier DeathWorkers With Cluster Headaches Take Twice as Many Sick DaysMore Americans to Be Evacuated From China; 12th Coronavirus Case ReportedYoung-Onset Parkinson's May Start in the Womb, New Research SuggestsHealthy Habits Can Slide After Starting Heart MedicationsWide Variations Found in 'Normal' Resting Heart RateLab Discovery Offers Promise for Treating Multiple SclerosisIs Vaping a Scourge on Your Skin?Many Can Suffer Facial Paralysis -- and Its Emotional TollAHA News: Persistent Asthma Linked to Increased Risk for Heart Rhythm DisorderAs Health Experts Fear Possible Pandemic, 2nd Death Reported Outside ChinaBedside 'Sitters' May Not Prevent Hospital FallsFirst Drug Approved for Treatment of Peanut Allergy in ChildrenAHA News: Millions Are Learning to Live With Heart FailureDoes Race Play a Part in ICU Outcomes?Meat Still Isn't Healthy, Study ConfirmsAs Health Experts Fear Possible Pandemic, U.S. Reports Cases Have Hit 11Got Flu? Deal Quickly With ComplicationsShovel That Snow, but Spare Your BackNewer Gene Sequencing Might Help Track Spread of Latest Coronavirus in China
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Healthy Habits Can Slide After Starting Heart Medications

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Feb 5th 2020

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Some people let healthy habits fall by the wayside after they start medications for high cholesterol or high blood pressure, a new study finds.

Of more than 41,000 middle-aged Finnish adults researchers followed, those who started on cholesterol or blood pressure drugs were more likely to stop exercising or gain weight in the years afterward.

The pattern does not prove that medications, per se, make people lax about lifestyle, said lead researcher Maarit Korhonen, an adjunct professor at the University of Turku in Finland.

But, she said, the findings do suggest that doctors should do a better job of emphasizing the importance of healthy habits.

Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist and volunteer expert for the American Heart Association, agreed.

"This is eye-opening for us as clinicians," said Goldberg, who directs the Center for Women's Health at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

"Medications are effective," she noted, "but they don't eliminate the need for a healthy diet and exercise."

For one, Goldberg said, healthy habits can help people keep their medication doses lower, which may limit any side effects.

Even more important, she said, eating nutritious foods and getting regular exercise improves overall health in numerous ways -- from weight control, to boosting fitness levels and strength, to lowering blood pressure and blood sugar.

That message, however, may not be getting through, based on the new findings.

The study, published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, involved 41,225 Finnish adults aged 40 and older.

Over 13 years, the study participants were surveyed at least twice about their lifestyle habits and weight. Korhonen's team also used electronic records to track any new medication prescriptions.

On average, people who started taking cholesterol drugs (statins) or blood pressure medication gained more weight by the time they were surveyed again, compared to those who stayed off those drugs. Their odds of becoming obese were 82% higher, the researchers said.

Similarly, medication users reported a dip in their daily activity levels, while nonusers held steady; they were also 8% more likely to become sedentary.

The results do not prove that starting medication makes people complacent about lifestyle, according to Korhonen.

But it wasn't simply that people on medication were older, she noted. Among people in their 40s, for example, those on heart medications typically gained more weight and became less active.

There was some good news, however: People who started on medication were 26% more likely to quit smoking and, on average, they curbed their usual alcohol intake.

Those findings are encouraging, Goldberg said, particularly since smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and a difficult habit to break.

The study was done in Finland, and it's not clear whether the findings would translate to other countries, the authors noted. But some recent research in the United States and Korea has found a similar pattern -- with statin users showing bigger increases in calorie and fat intake, obesity and inactivity compared to nonusers.

Korhonen said the take-away is straightforward: "People who start blood pressure or cholesterol medications should continue to manage weight, be physically active, manage their alcohol consumption and quit smoking."

More information

The American Heart Association has advice on a heart-healthy lifestyle.