High Blood Pressure Linked to Memory Problems Making
January 6th 2006
New research has shown that untreated high blood pressure may cause
short term memory and verbal skills to decline at a faster rate. The
loss of these cognitive functions increases at a faster rate when
hypertension is uncontrolled.
Even with treatment, if the blood pressure is not controlled, cognitive
ability will decline with age. It is estimated that 60 percent of
adults over the age of 60 have high blood pressure.
The treatment goal is blood pressure below 140/90 and lower for people
with other conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease. According
to Xangina News high blood pressure goes undetected or inadequately
treated, leaving nearly 40 percent of older hypertensive people with
continued high readings -- even with treatment.
The research was done at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare
System, Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Public
Health. They examined a subset of men that took part in the VA
Normative Aging Study that began in 1963. In 1993 the study added
neuropsychological tests. This smaller study included 357 men
averaging 67 years of age. These participants didn’t have dementia or
other serious medical conditions.
According to the Ivanhoe website “uncontrolled
hypertensive decrements on fluency were 2.4-times as great as for those
with normal pressure; their decrement with immediate recall was
1.3-times as great. According to investigators, that means by age 80,
men with uncontrolled hypertension could generate seven fewer words in a
given category and recall nearly one and a half fewer words on average
than men with a healthy blood pressure.”
In another recent
study loss of cognitive ability was linked to untreated sleep apnea.
The common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. Sleep apnea may
also cause an increase in blood pressure.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
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