A new study published in JAMA Network Open has found that taking medications to lower blood pressure may reduce the risk of dementia in older adults. The research, which pooled findings from 17 observational studies involving more than 34,000 adults aged 60 to 110, found that people with untreated high blood pressure were nearly 42% more likely to develop dementia compared with healthy older adults.
The study also found that those who were untreated had a 26% greater risk of developing dementia than people 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 meaningful difference in dementia risk between the two groups.
The findings suggest that treating high blood pressure in later life may benefit both the heart and brain, reinforcing the connection between the two organs’ health. It is important for older adults to work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their blood pressure and other health conditions to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases such as dementia.