High Blood Pressure? You May Be at Risk for Vascular Dementia
You probably already know that high blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. (And that’s not all that ups your risk — a recent study has found that just one week of NSAID use increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke, as well.)
But what many don’t know is that high blood pressure also significantly raises the risk of developing the second most common form of dementia: vascular dementia.
Vascular dementia often occurs when a stroke blocks an artery in your brain. But strokes aren’t the only cause of this condition. Vascular dementia can also occur when blood vessels are damaged. This reduces blood circulation in the brain, depriving your brain of vital oxygen and nutrients.
Study Finds Link Between High Blood Pressure and Vascular Dementia Risk
In a new analysis, a research team at The George Institute analyzed medical records of more than four million people. What they learned is unsettling, to say the least. The researchers found that heightened blood pressure was associated with a 62 percent higher risk of vascular dementia between the ages of 30 and 50, and those between the ages of 51 and 70 had a 26 percent higher risk.
“We already know that high blood pressure can raise the risk of stroke and heart attack. Our research has shown that high blood pressure is also associated with a significantly higher risk of vascular dementia,” says lead author Professor Kazem Rahimi. In fact, over a seven year period, roughly 11,000 of the patients studied when on to develop vascular dementia.
In conclusion, Professor Rahimi states, “Our results suggest that lowering blood pressure, either by exercise, diet or [other means] could reduce the risk of vascular dementia.”
Looking for an effective natural way to help lower blood pressure? Studies have found that a compound called berberine may be the solution. Learn more in our article Berberine Benefits: Is It Really a Key Supplement for Those with Diabetes?
High blood pressure linked to vascular dementia. Press Release. George Institute for Global Health via EurekAlert. May 2016.