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Hypertension may predict dementia for some seniors

Category: Blood and Blood Diseases

A recent study has found that high blood pressure may predict dementia in older adults suffering from impaired executive function, which is the inability to organize thoughts and make decisions. Contrary to the results of separate studies, researchers found that hypertension was not an indicator of dementia in seniors with memory dysfunction.

Researchers from the University of Western Ontario in Canada studied 990 dementia-free participants whose average age was 83. After five years of monitoring, the team found that approximately 60 percent of patients developed dementia.

Among those with executive dysfunction, the rate of dementia development was 57.7 percent for seniors who had high blood pressure, compared to just 28 percent for those with normal blood pressure.

"We show herein that the presence of hypertension predicts progression to dementia in a subgroup of about one-third of subjects with cognitive impairment," wrote the study authors. "Control of hypertension in this population could decrease…the rate of progression to dementia."

The researchers hope that the findings will prove important for older adults with cognitive impairment and high blood pressure, Health Day reports.

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