- High blood pressure in your 30s and 40s may increase your risk of dementia, researchers say.
- One of the reasons is that high blood pressure can damage heart valves and reduce oxygen supply to the brain.
- Experts say this study once again highlights the importance of maintaining normal blood pressure levels in young people.
People who develop high blood pressure in their 30s and 40s may have an increased risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a study published October 3 in the journal Hypertension.
Research also shows that 35- to 44-year-olds with high blood pressure have smaller brains.
The findings suggest that taking steps to control high blood pressure in young people may reduce the risk of dementia.
Dr Mingguang He, lead author of the study and professor of ophthalmic epidemiology at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a report that early-onset hypertension is becoming increasingly common.
He added that although the link between hypertension, brain health and dementia is well established, it is not known when younger-onset hypertension affects affect this relationship.
The researchers analyzed data in the UK’s biobank, a large database with detailed, anonymous health information of about half a million volunteers in the UK.
After comparing MRI scans from thousands of people with and without hypertension of different ages, the researchers reported that those with hypertension had a smaller total brain volume.
Hypertension diagnosed before the age of 35 years had the most effect on the reduction in brain volume.
The researchers also found a significantly higher risk of dementia (61%) in people diagnosed with hypertension between the ages of 35 and 44.
Ring the alarm
Scott Kaiser, director of cognitive health geriatrics at the Pacific Center for Brain Health, Pacific Institute of Neuroscience at Saint John’s Center for Preventive Health in Santa Monica, California, said: Research has set off alarm bells, waking us up to the fact that it’s time to start thinking about preventing dementia early on.”
Kaiser told Healthline: “To increase our odds – especially in the context of an aging population – of stopping the growing wave of dementia, we must identify and target the modifiable risk factors.
“In fact, experts say that if we address a range of identified risk factors through individual health and public health measures, we can prevent them,” he said. about a third of the expected dementia cases in the coming decades,”
Sandra Petersen, who runs healthcare services for the national chain Pegasus Senior Living and created the company’s connected memory program, told Healthline that high blood pressure at a young age causes regurgitation heart as we age.
Uncontrolled hypertension makes the situation worse.
“This reduces the pressure in the heart – caused by an open heart valve – and makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the brain,” says Petersen.
“The lack of blood perfusion over time causes a lack of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, leading to brain cell death and poor brain perfusion,” she said. “Amnesia occurs because important parts of the brain are affected by the death of cells.”
Dr Mahmud Kara, formerly of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and creator of heart health supplements at Karamd.com, said the study has “important implications, beyond design establish a link between dementia and hypertension, as previous studies have demonstrated.
“One of the most important benefits of reducing age from 30 to 40 is health education,” says Kara. “With this new information, clinicians who assess and diagnose Hypertension diagnosis can focus on educating patients about the long-term risks, as well as the short-term risks to their health.”
The study also encourages healthcare professionals to recommend preventive measures earlier, he said.
“Instead of just maintaining your blood pressure medication, eat a healthy diet in your 20s, don’t smoke, limit excessive alcohol use during your college years, and stay active,” he said. Being physically active from your teens to your late 20s will reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure in the first place.”
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Translated by: Tuyet Duong