New research published in the journal JAMA Network Open suggests that older adults who take blood pressure medications may have a lower risk of developing dementia. The study pooled data from 17 observational studies involving 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 findings showed that people with untreated high blood pressure were nearly 42% more likely to develop dementia compared to healthy older adults. Those with untreated high blood pressure also had a 26% higher 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 significant difference in the risk of dementia between the two groups.
This study strengthens the link between heart and brain health and suggests that treating high blood pressure later in life may benefit both organs. While it’s important to note that this research is observational and further studies are needed to confirm these findings, it’s worth discussing with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your blood pressure and its potential impact on your cognitive health.