New research published in JAMA Network Open suggests that older adults who take medications to lower their blood pressure may reduce their risk of dementia. The study, which pooled findings from 17 separate observational studies that included over 34,000 adults aged 60 to 110, found that people with untreated high blood pressure were 42% more likely to develop dementia compared to healthy older adults. Those who were untreated had a 26% greater risk 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 study reinforces the connection between heart and brain health and suggests that treating high blood pressure in later life may benefit both organs. While more research is needed to confirm these findings, the study provides important insights into the potential benefits of managing high blood pressure in older adults. It’s worth noting that this study only looked at individuals who were already taking medication for high blood pressure; it did not examine the effects of lifestyle changes or other treatments on dementia risk. As always, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your treatment plan.