Key points from article :
High blood pressure appears to accelerate a decline in cognitive performance in middle-aged and older adults.
“Hypertension needs to be prevented, diagnosed and effectively treated..,” - Sandhi M. Barreto, study author.
Researchers analyzed findings from an existing study on more than 7,000 adults in Brazil.
Testing included analysis of memory, verbal fluency and executive function.
Systolic blood pressure (121- 139 mmHg) or diastolic blood pressure (81- 89 mmHg) with no antihypertensive medication was associated with cognitive performance decline.
Speed of decline in cognition happened regardless of hypertension duration.
Adults with uncontrolled hypertension tended to experience notably faster declines in memory.
“Our results also reinforce the need to maintain lower blood pressure levels throughout life,” - Barreto.
Study’s limitations are relatively short follow-up period and self-reported hypertension diagnosis.
Research published in Journal Hypertension.