According to some recent studies, middle age high blood pressure can damage the brain and cause cognitive decline.
In a recent study published in December in the journal Hypertension, hypertension during middle age (ages 40-60) may affect brain health. While hypertension (high blood pressure) is known to affect various health aspects, the study sheds a light on how it affects specific groups of people.
More than 15,000 participants were part of the study, which suggests a connection between hypertension and cognitive decline. Those who had hypertension during middle age also experienced memory decline.
In addition to hypertension, the study suggests a link between prehypertension and accelerated cognitive decline. People with prehypertension have systolic blood pressure readings of 120-139 mmHg and diastolic readings of 80-89 mmHg.
Sandhi M. Barreto, MD, PhD, says that controlling blood pressure can significantly help prevent cognitive decline. Barreto is one of the researchers of the study and is a professor of medicine at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
What We Know
Hypertension is a high risk factor for cognitive decline; however, we need more research to effectively assess the age at which hypertension affects cognition. Experiencing high blood pressure during middle age may be more harmful for cognitive health as it accelerates the process.
Some researchers point to the duration of high blood pressure as a key factor in the severity of the cognitive decline experienced. As a result, having hypertension during middle age could lead to worse cognitive decline later in life.
In addition to cognitive decline, prehypertension may result in other harmful effects such as organ damage. More research is necessary to find out the impact of antihypertensive medications on cognitive decline due to hypertension.
There are various factors affecting high blood pressure: lifestyle, age, genetics, and more. While some of these factors are out of our control, others are within our power to change.
The best thing you can do to decrease the risk of hypertension (and, in turn, cognitive decline) is by leading a healthy lifestyle. In other words, you should plan to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet such as the DASH or Mediterranean diet.
Another option to consider is using heart and circulation supplements to improve blood flow. One of the most popular and effective heart supplements available is L-arginine Plus.
It works by increasing nitric oxide production, which relaxes blood vessels and leads to better circulation. As a result, blood pressure levels decrease, which means more blood flows to the heart.
The study shows a connection between high blood pressure during middle age and cognitive decline. However, more research is necessary to pinpoint the specific age at which hypertension affects cognitive decline.
Moreover, prehypertension may also affect the acceleration of cognitive decline in addition to negatively affecting overall health. According to Barreto, “prevention of high blood pressure is always preferred,” and it’s important to address the issues to “avoid further damaging the cognitive function.”