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High Blood Pressure Linked to Cognitive Problems

9 years, 2 months ago

897  0
Posted on Sep 23, 2009, 8 a.m.

Previously, studies have found that high blood pressure weakens small arteries in the brain.  Georgios Tsivgoulis, from University of Alabama at Birmingham (USA), and colleagues report that this weakening may result in the development of small areas of brain damage.

Previously, studies have found that high blood pressure weakens small arteries in the brain.  Georgios Tsivgoulis, from University of Alabama at Birmingham (USA), and colleagues report that this weakening may result in the development of small areas of brain damage.  The researchers analyzed data from 30,228 men and women, ages 45 and over, who never had a stroke, enrolled in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. The team conducted regular blood pressure measurements and, after adjusting for confounding factors, found that every 10-point increase in the diastolic blood pressure reading corresponded to a 7% increased risk of cognitive problems such as memory loss and confused thinking.  Dr. Tsivgoulis comments that: “It’s possible that by preventing or treating high blood pressure, we could potentially prevent cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia.”

Tsivgoulis G, Alexandrov AV, Wadley VG, Unverzagt FW, Go RC, Moy CS, Kissela B, Howard G. “Association of higher diastolic blood pressure levels with cognitive impairment.”  Neurology. 2009 Aug 25;73(8):589-95.

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