Research published in JAMA Network Open suggests that older adults who take medications to lower their blood pressure may reduce their risk of dementia. The study, which pooled findings from 17 observational studies with a total of more than 34,000 participants, found that untreated high blood pressure was associated with an increased risk of dementia.
Specifically, people with untreated high blood pressure were 42% more likely to develop dementia compared to healthy older adults. Those who were untreated also had a 26% greater risk than people with treated high blood pressure. However, when researchers compared people with treated high blood pressure to healthy older adults without high blood pressure, they found no meaningful difference in dementia risk between the two groups.
The findings suggest that treating high blood pressure in later life may benefit both the heart and the brain. They reinforce the connection between heart and brain health and highlight the importance of managing cardiovascular health as we age.
It is important to note that this research does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between blood pressure and dementia, but it does provide evidence for a potential link between the two conditions. As always, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your medication regimen or lifestyle habits.