A new study looks at links between age of hypertension diagnosis and dementia risk.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 1.28 billion people aged 30–79 worldwide have HBP, or hypertension.
HBP is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death worldwide. It is also a risk factor for diabetes, depression, and dementia.
Previous research has found that HBP before the age of 35 has associations with cognitive impairment in mid-life. Some studies also suggest hypertension in mid-life is a risk factor for dementia. However, the link between later-life hypertension and dementia is inconsistent.
While the link between hypertension, brain volume, and dementia is well-established, researchers are still not sure how the age of hypertension onset affects dementia risk.
In a recent study, researchers used public health data to investigate how the age of hypertension onset affects brain health and the risk of developing dementia.
Previous studies have demonstrated that midlife hypertension is associated with an increased risk of dementia, but whether the association of hypertension with brain volume and dementia is affected by age at diagnosis of hypertension is unclear.
The researchers found hypertension diagnosed in young adulthood or mid-life, but not late life, was associated with smaller brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia. The younger age at diagnosis of hypertension, the larger brain volume reduction was observed,” explained Dr. Shang, a lead research fellow.
“Our findings indicate both early- and mid-life are critical periods for the prevention of dementia or brain damage via prevention and treatment of hypertension,” he added.
The authors published their study in the journal.
Exclusive content from CARE magazine