A study published in JAMA Network Open on September 5, 2023, suggests that older adults who take medication to lower their blood pressure may reduce their risk of developing dementia. The study pooled data from 17 observational studies that included a total of over 34,000 adults aged 60 to 110.
The average age of the participants was 72, and they were followed for an average of four years. The results showed that people with untreated high blood pressure were 42% more likely to develop dementia compared to healthy older adults. Those with untreated high blood pressure 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 meaningful difference in dementia risk between the two groups.
The findings suggest that treating high blood pressure in later life may benefit both the heart and brain health. This study highlights the importance of managing heart health as a way to potentially reduce the risk of developing dementia in older adults. It is essential for individuals to discuss their medical history and current medications with their healthcare provider before making any significant changes to their treatment plan.