Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open suggests that older adults who take medications to lower their blood pressure may have a reduced risk of developing dementia. The study analyzed data from 17 observational studies, which included over 34,000 adults aged 60 to 110.
The participants had an average age of 72 and were followed for an average of four years. The findings 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 also 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 significant difference in dementia risk between the two groups.
The study reinforces the connection between heart and brain health and suggests that treating high blood pressure in later life may benefit both organs. It’s important for older adults to discuss any potential risks and benefits of medication with their healthcare providers before starting treatment.