Blood pressure treatment could lower risk of dementia, study says

A new study is adding to the growing body of evidence suggesting that blood pressure lowering could have a beneficial effect on cognitive function.

The research meta-analysis of six prospective studies, which was published in Lancet Neurology, found that the group of study participants with high blood pressure taking an antihypertensive medication had a reduced risk for developing dementia (12%) and Alzheimer’s disease (16%), compared with the group of older adult patients not on an antihypertensive medication.

For patients with normal or well-controlled hypertension, the researchers found no link to a reduced risk for dementia. In all, the research included data from 30,000 adults older than 55 years who did not have dementia at the study's start. When patients were followed up during a median 7 to 22 years, 3,728 patients had developed dementia, and 1,741 had Alzheimer’s disease.

The study authors added that no specific antihypertensive medication or drug class was superior in lowering the patients’ risk of dementia.