High Blood Pressure at Midlife Can Produce Dementia Risk for Women

Women who have high blood pressure at midlife could be at high risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a new study. The scientists reported that the risk could run by 73 percent, but the same did not stand true for men.

Previous studies have indicated the association of high blood pressure with dementia, but it was not clear that hypertension before the age of 50 is could be a risk factor.

The Director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, Keith Fargo stated that a healthy brain is the sign of a healthy circulation system.

The brain requires a large amount of oxygen and other nutrients therefore, there is a very opulent blood delivery system runs in the brain, according to Fargo.

Lead researcher, Paola Gilsanz said, “Because of that, it stands to reason that long-term exposure to high blood pressure could leave one more vulnerable to dementia as they enter old age.”

The records of more than 5,600 patients, from 1996 onward for an average 15 years at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California healthcare system was analyzed to see who developed dementia, by Gilsanz and her colleagues.

They found that women who developed high blood pressure at the 40s did have an increased risk of dementia, but men did not have the same risk at the 40s.

Gilsanz says, “Your dementia risk is really a lifelong thing. People think about dementia in late life because that’s when it’s common to see the clinical symptoms. But everything that is setting up for cognitive decline is occurring throughout your life.”

Experts also said that long term hypertension can affect brain if it’s not controlled.

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