Surgery News

High BP may predict dementia in older adults with cognitive impairment

April 06, 2016

Over a five-year follow-up period, dementia developed at approximately the same rate among participants with and without hypertension (59.5 percent of individuals with high blood pressure vs. 64.2 percent of those without). A similar pattern was observed among those with memory dysfunction alone and with both memory and executive dysfunction. However, among patients with executive dysfunction only, presence of hypertension was associated with an increased risk of developing dementia (57.7 percent of those with high blood pressure progressed to dementia, vs. 28 percent of those without).

"This study may have profound implications for community dwellers with cognitive impairment, no dementia," the authors write. "Worldwide, neurologic disorders are the most frequent cause of disability-adjusted life years; among these, cerebrovascular disease is the most common risk factor, and dementia is the second most common. There is no preventive or therapeutic intervention to mitigate this public health burden."

"We show herein that the presence of hypertension predicts progression to dementia in a subgroup of about one-third of subjects with cognitive impairment, no dementia," they conclude. "Control of hypertension in this population could decrease by one-half the projected 50-percent five-year rate of progression to dementia."

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals