Wednesday February 19, 2020

Study: Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds With Raised Blood Pressure

How middle-age hypertension raises dementia risk later

0
//
Blood Pressure
Representational image. Pixabay

A high blood pressure level but still below the usual threshold for treating hypertension can put 50-year-olds at increased risk of developing dementia later, revealed a study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

According to the American Heart Association, normal blood pressure is below 120/80 mmHg.

People with a systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 130 mmHg or more at the age of 50 had a 45 per cent greater risk of developing dementia than those with a lower level at the same age.

The risk was 47 per cent even in people with no heart or blood vessel-related conditions.

“Our work confirms the detrimental effects of midlife hypertension for risk of dementia,” said lead author Archana Singh-Manoux, Professor at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Paris.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The reason for the increased risk of dementia includes the fact that high blood pressure is linked to silent or mini strokes (where symptoms often are not noticeable), damage to the white matter in the brain, which contains many of the brain’s nerve fibres, and restricted blood supply to the brain.

This damage may underlie the resulting decline in the brain’s processes, the researchers explained in the study of nearly 9,000 people, published in the European Heart Journal.

However, the association was not seen at the ages of 60 and 70, and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) was not linked to dementia.

Also Read: Rutgers Researchers Develop Automated Robotic Device For Faster Blood Testing

“Our analysis suggests that the importance of mid-life hypertension on brain health is due to the duration of exposure,” the researcher said.

“So we see an increased risk for people with raised blood pressure at age 50, but not 60 or 70, because those with hypertension at age 50 are likely to be ‘exposed’ to this risk for longer,” she added.

Another study reported in the journal Cardiovascular Research showed that higher risk of developing dementia in hypertensive patients occurs due to significant alterations in three specific white matter fibre-tracts linked to executive functions, processing speed, memory and related learning tasks — brain areas associated with dementia. (IANS)

Next Story

Taller Men Are at a Lower Risk of Dementia in Old Age: Study

Taller men may have lower dementia risk in old age

0
dementia
Men who are taller in young adulthood may have a lower risk of dementia in old age. Pixabay

Men who are taller in young adulthood may have a lower risk of dementia in old age, according to a new health news and research.

Previous studies have suggested that height may be a risk factor for dementia, but much of this research was not able to take into account genetic, environmental, or other early-life factors that may be linked to both height and dementia.

“We wanted to see if body height in young men is associated with diagnosis of dementia, while exploring whether intelligence test scores, educational level, and underlying environmental and genetic factors shared by brothers explain the relationship,” said lead author Terese Sara Hoj Jorgensen from University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

For the findings, published in the journal eLife, researchers analysed data on 666,333 Danish men born between 1939 and 1959, including 70,608 brothers and 7,388 twins, from Danish national registries.

dementia
Previous studies have suggested that height may be a risk factor for dementia, but much of this research was not able to take into account genetic, environmental, or other early-life factors. Pixabay

They found a total of 10,599 men who developed dementia later in life.

Their adjusted analysis of this group showed that there was about a 10 per cent reduction in the risk of developing dementia for about every 6cm of height in individuals above the average height.

When the team took into account the potential role of intelligence or education, the unadjusted relationship between height and dementia risk was only slightly reduced.

They found that the relationship between height and dementia also existed when they looked at brothers with different heights, suggesting that genetics and family characteristics alone do not explain why shorter men had a greater dementia risk.

“A key strength of our study is that it adjusted for the potential role of education and intelligence in young men’s dementia risk, both of which may build up cognitive reserve and make this group less vulnerable to developing dementia,” said study senior author Merete Osler.

‘Cognitive reserve’ refers to the brain’s ability to improvise and solve problems that come up in everyday life.

Adjusting for education and intelligence reduces the likelihood that the relationship between height and dementia is really explained by cognitive reserve, the researchers said.

“Together, our results point to an association between taller body height in young men and a lower risk of dementia diagnosis later in life, which persists even when adjusted for educational level and intelligence test scores,” Osler said.

Also Read- Aging Women Likely to Consume More Alcohol: Study

“Our analysis of the data concerning brothers confirms these findings, and suggests the association may have common roots in early-life environmental exposures that are not related to family factors shared by brothers,” she added. (IANS)