Midlife blood pressure linked to dementia in later life

UK research reveals a common midlife condition is linked to dementia.

Blood pressure link to dementia

New research reveals that a common condition in midlife will increase your risk of dementia later in life, say UK health experts.

Anyone with slightly raised blood pressure from the age of 50 has a 45 per cent chance of developing dementia in their later years.

The UK Whitehall II study, published in the European Heart Journal, involves ongoing analysis of 8639 people and more than 10,000 civil servants, and was started in 1985.

It shows that 50-year-olds with a systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg – between the ideal blood pressure range (90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg) and the high blood pressure range (140/90mmHg) – have a 45 per cent greater risk of developing dementia at age 75, even if they did not have other heart-related problems.

Increased dementia risk was seen in people aged 50 with higher than normal blood pressure, but not in those aged 60 or 70.

“Previous research has not been able to test the link between raised blood pressure and dementia directly by examining the timing in sufficient detail,” said study author Dr Jessica Abell, of the University College London.

“In our paper, we were able to examine the association at age 50, 60 and 70, and we found different patterns of association.

“This will have important implications for policy guidelines, which currently only use the generic term 'midlife'.”

The research suggests that the link could be due to damage from “unnoticed” mini strokes, which are linked to high blood pressure.

Dr Abell did note that the findings were from “observational, population-level research” and may “not translate directly into implications for individual patients”.

Do you have higher than normal blood pressure? What do you do to manage it?

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    COMMENTS

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    Yup I Know
    18th Jun 2018
    10:23am
    You have a link to the journal. Please give us a link to the study,
    Yup I Know
    18th Jun 2018
    10:24am
    Got it
    vinradio
    18th Jun 2018
    11:41am
    Well I'm toast then, as I have had high bp since my mid 50's though it is well controlled with medication. My mother and an older sister also had forms of dementia, too.
    Charlie
    18th Jun 2018
    12:08pm
    Unnoticed mini-strokes as the article suggests, can be responsible for a lot of things.

    This article is about loss of cognitive function, but nerve sensitivity and pain can be another.

    An MRI can reveal these mini strokes but there is a general lack of consistency about what pathways in the brain are affected.
    KB
    18th Jun 2018
    12:30pm
    Mine is controlled by medication. I eat foods like bananas that help reduce high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be inherited through parents
    Nan Norma
    18th Jun 2018
    12:49pm
    How many people aged 50 have their blood pressure measured?
    inquisitive
    18th Jun 2018
    2:38pm
    well that means we are all in the gun then. age does that to you,( re blood pressure) no matter what you do, I doubt it is preventable
    Cheezil61
    18th Jun 2018
    10:44pm
    My 85yo dad has dementia, apparently possibly caused by unnoticed/misdiagnosed mini stroke/s but his blood pressure was always on the low side (which we believed at the time resulted in a couple of episodes of him flaking out/"fainting", which in hindsight makes us wonder if the fainting was actually caused by undiagnosed mini strokes passed off by doctor as low blood pressure!- So sad as is too late now to find out this info)


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