New study suggests that taking medications to lower blood pressure may reduce the risk of dementia in older adults. The research, published in JAMA Network Open on Sept. 5, 2023, looked at data from 17 observational studies with a total of more than 34,000 participants aged 60 to 110. On average, participants were 72 years old and followed for four years.
The findings showed that people with untreated high blood pressure were 42% more likely to develop dementia compared to healthy older adults. Those who were untreated had a 26% greater risk than those 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 significant difference in dementia risk between the two groups.
This study reinforces the connection between heart and brain health and suggests that treating high blood pressure in later life may benefit both organs. It is important for older adults to monitor their blood pressure regularly and seek medical advice if necessary to prevent or manage any potential health issues.