Navigation Links
High Blood Pressure in Middle Age, Weaker Brain Later?

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Let your blood pressure get too high in midlife, and you might pay the price in mental decline later on, a new study suggests.

The study of almost 14,000 people found that high blood pressure in those aged 48 to 67 was tied to a late-life drop in mental ability. Over 20 years, people with high blood pressure in midlife experienced a modest but significant 6.5 percent decline in scores on tests of mental function, compared with people with normal blood pressure.

"High blood pressure might be an important risk factor for dementia, since mental decline is a known risk factor," said lead researcher Dr. Rebecca Gottesman, an associate professor of neurology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

However, she stressed that because "we know how to treat high blood pressure," bringing it under control might also cut a person's risk for dementia.

For the study, Gottesman's team collected data on people taking part in a major U.S. heart disease study. The participants were followed for as long as 23 years and their mental abilities were tested three separate times.

Gottesman's group found that people whose blood pressure was controlled with medication had less mental decline than those with uncontrolled high blood pressure. The effect was stronger among whites than blacks, the researchers noted.

Blood pressure levels in middle age may be especially important to later-life mental acuity, Gottesman said.

"This may be why some clinical trials that have studied the role of blood pressure medications [in older people] have failed to find a benefit in reducing mental decline and dementia," she reasoned. "The trials may simply not be long enough -- it may be most important to start treatment of high blood pressure when people are middle-aged."

However, the jury is still out on whether blood pressure medication given in middle age can help boost late-life thinking and memory.

"In our study, people who were on medications to treat high blood pressure did have less mental decline than did people not on medications," Gottesman said. "But it's possible those people had been on medications for years."

Still, "our data suggest that, overall, being on any medications for high blood pressure may be protective," Gottesman said.

The report was published online Aug. 4 in JAMA Neurology.

Dr. Philip Gorelick is medical director of the Hauenstein Neuroscience Center at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids.

He believes that the new study "provides some evidence that those who were observed and treated for high blood pressure were better off in the long run from a mental standpoint than those who were not treated for high blood pressure."

Gorelick, who authored an accompanying journal editorial, said that doctors have long known that treating high blood pressure is key to cutting people's odds for stroke and heart attack.

Now "another, but less well-documented benefit, of blood pressure lowering may be the preservation of mental function as we age," he said. "With additional study, we may be better positioned to tell our patients whether control of blood pressure not only prevents stroke and heart attack, but also helps to preserve their brain."

More information

There's more on treating high blood pressure at the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Rebecca Gottesman, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, neurology, epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; Philip B. Gorelick, M.D., M.P.H., medical director, Hauenstein Neuroscience Center, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids; Aug. 4, 2014, JAMA Neurology, online

Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Infection Might Raise Blood Clot Risk for Older Adults: Study
2. Normalizing tumor blood vessels improves delivery of only the smallest nanomedicines
3. Common Blood Pressure Drug Safe for Heart Failure: Study
4. Certain Birth Control Pills May Carry Higher Blood Clot Risk: FDA
5. High Blood Pressure May Be Especially Lethal for Blacks
6. Changes in gene expression may help explain high blood pressure in pregnancy
7. Researchers Develop Blood Test for Depression
8. Naturopathic care can improve blood sugar, mood in diabetes
9. Diabetes Groups Issue New Guidelines on Blood Sugar
10. Exercise May Help Patients With High Blood Pressure Live Longer
11. Additional blood pressure screening may reduce incidence of CVD events and death by up to 3 percent
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
High Blood Pressure in Middle Age, Weaker Brain Later? 
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is ... emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical ... the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. ... for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as ... of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to ... one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son ... lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t ... would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Dialysis Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report ... is the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, ... and excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the ... sodium, potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the ... announced today online at by the ... diabetes stand in the way of academic and community ... Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: