Status: 22.09.2023, 06:30 a.m.
By: Judith Braun
If high blood pressure is treated in older people, their risk of dementia decreases. This is shown by the results of a study.
Dementia is one of the so-called neurodegenerative diseases. These are debilitating and incurable diseases that lead to progressive deterioration or even death of nerve cells. There are certain risk factors that can promote dementia. The most common risk factor is high blood pressure (hypertension). However, the risk of dementia can be reduced in those affected if high blood pressure is treated.
High blood pressure as a risk factor for dementia: if it is treated, the risk decreases
In people with untreated hypertension, the risk of dementia may be higher than, for example, in healthy people. © Monkey Business 2/IMAGO
High blood pressure in middle age is associated with an almost 60 percent increased risk of dementia. In their study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, a team of researchers led by Matthew J. Lennon from the University of New South Wales in Sydney investigated whether such a connection also exists in older people. To do this, they analyzed the medical data of around 34,500 people over the age of 60 from 17 cohort studies.
The participants were evaluated according to the situation at the beginning of the studies. The scientists finally divided them into three groups: people who were treated for high blood pressure and untreated hypertensives. A third group of healthy participants acted as a control group. The participants also came from 15 different countries, including Germany.
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Study results show that untreated high blood pressure increases the risk of dementia
The results of the study showed that individuals with untreated hypertension had a 42 percent increased risk of dementia compared to healthy controls. Compared to people with treated high blood pressure, they had a 26 percent increased risk of the nerve disease. In addition, people with treated hypertension did not have a significantly increased risk of dementia compared to the healthy control group. From their study, the researchers draw the conclusion that consistent high-pressure therapy into old age is an important part of dementia prevention.
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