Research has found a connection between high blood pressure levels and non-aspirin painkillers. A report from the Harvard School of Medicine’s ongoing Nurses Health Study concluded that women are at increased risk for high blood pressure levels if they take daily doses of painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin).
The Harvard study involved 5,123 women age 34 to 77, each of whom had healthy blood pressure at the onset. Here are the results:
- For women not taking painkillers, the risk of developing high blood pressure levels was about 1 to 3 percent a year.
- Women taking an average daily dose of more than 500 mg of acetaminophen (one extra-strength tablet) had a 93 to 99 percent increased risk of developing high blood pressure levels within three years, compared to women taking less than 500 mg.
- Women taking more than 400 mg a day of over-the-counter NSAIDS (the equivalent of two ibuprofen) had a 60 to 78 percent increased risk of developing high blood pressure levels, compared to women taking less than 400 mg.
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