Further Evidence that Controlling High Blood Pressure Can Reduce Dementia & Alzheimers Risk

by Shawna Wasko, M.OLP PI/Nutrition Contacts Mgr.

A study supported by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the NIA Intramural Research Program, published in Lancet Neurology, showed that there is more evidence that controlling high blood pressure can reduce dementia, Alzheimer’s risk. The article stated that a global team of scientists cross-referenced data from six large, longitudinal studies that tracked the health of over 31,000 adults who were over the age of 55. The team did follow-ups on these adults for several years.

The team found that treating high blood pressure-no matter with which type of antihypertensive drug-reduced dementia risk by 12% and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 16%. Scientists teamed up to analyze data from six comprehensive, community-based health studies conducted between 1987 and 2008 in the United States, France, Iceland, and the Netherlands. The team examined all five major types of blood pressure medications-ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics-and found that the type of medication did not make a difference.

The participant’s data was divided into two groups-15,537 people with high blood pressure and 15,553 people with normal blood pressure. In all, 1,741 diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease and 3,728 cases of other dementias developed over time. People who controlled their blood pressure with medicine were found to have the same risk for developing dementia as individuals with normal blood pressure who did not require medications.

With a mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, this gives me another reason to see my doctor at least yearly. So far my blood pressure is low, but I will continue to check it. Take care all you Caregivers, eat less salt, exercise, and get respite care. Please call the CSI Office on Aging to learn about resources we have to help Caregivers with their care issues.

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