Hypertension May Increase Risk for Dementia

Learn how high blood pressure can affect your brain.

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Kimberly Williams-Paisley Opens Up About Her Mom’s Dementia (3:21)

It has been shown that hypertension -- also known as high blood pressure -- can increase the risk for dementia. Studies have examined the impact of hypertension in those who were middle-aged, but a recent study published in European Heart Journal set out to define middle age including when hypertension affects the brain and why.  

During a 32-year study that began in 1985, researchers measured blood pressure and charted brain health in people ages 33-55.  In 2017 almost five percent of the participants were found to have dementia. The study concluded that those who had hypertension leading up to the age of 50 had at least a 45 percent increased risk than those who didn't. Additionally, the reason behind the link between hypertension and dementia seems to be silent strokes that damage the brain without symptoms and that are caused by high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, make sure you are asking your doctor about precautions to take so you can lower your numbers and improve your health.

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