Controlling High Blood Pressure Could Prevent Dementia

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The effect of antihypertensive medication was no longer statistically significant when analysis included suboptimally treated blood pressure.
The effect of antihypertensive medication was no longer statistically significant when analysis included suboptimally treated blood pressure.

HealthDay News — Controlling high blood pressure in older African-Americans may prevent future dementia, according to a study published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Michael D. Murray, Pharm.D., from the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis, and colleagues assessed the longitudinal effects of antihypertensive medications and blood pressure on the onset of incident dementia in 1,236 African-Americans (≥65 years) seen in an inner-city public health care system.

The researchers found that 9 percent of participants developed dementia over a 24-year follow-up period. There was a significantly reduced risk of dementia among the 816 patients prescribed any antihypertensive medication (hazard ratio, 0.57; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.37 to 0.88; P = 0.0114), compared to the 420 untreated hypertensive patients. The effect of antihypertensive medication was no longer statistically significant when analysis included suboptimally treated blood pressure (>140 mm Hg systolic or >90 mm Hg diastolic; hazard ratio, 0.65; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.32 to 1.30; P = 0.2217).

"Control of blood pressure in older adult African-American patients with hypertension is a key intervention for preventing dementia, with similar benefits from most of the commonly available antihypertensive medications," the authors write.

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