High Blood Pressure And Other Modifiable Risk Factors Of Dementia

High Blood Pressure And Brain Health

An increasing number of young people are suffering from high blood pressure (BP). Untreated hypertension in younger people can cause damage to many key organs, including the brain. If you’re in your 30s and you have high blood pressure, you’re likely to experience worse brain health in your 70s. High blood pressure in early adulthood can have detrimental effects on the brain and increase the risk of dementia, according to a UC Davis study. The risk appears to be higher in men than in women.
The study, recently published in JAMA Network Open, found that older adults who had high BP in their 30s had significantly lower regional brain volumes and worse white matter integrity (both factors are associated with dementia) compared to older adults who had normal blood pressure in their early adulthood.
Additionally, the researchers found that the negative brain changes in some regions to be stronger in men compared to women, suggesting that men may be more susceptible to the detrimental effects of high BP on the brain. They assumed that the lower effects of high BP in women may be due to the protective benefits of estrogen before menopause.

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