High Blood Pressure Linked to Dementia

Risk rockets stunning 600%: study
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2008 3:10 AM CDT
Jackie Lustig comforts her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's. A new study says people with high blood pressure in middle age have an 600% increase in their risk of dementia in later years.   (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)
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(Newser) – High blood pressure increases an individual's risk of suffering dementia in old age by an astonishing 600%, reports the Daily Telegraph. The study, conducted in the UK—where 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure by middle age—found that hypertension increased the incidence of vascular dementia. The second most common form of the disease after Alzheimer's, vascular dementia can cause memory loss, seizures and increased risk of stroke.

"People fear dementia more than any other condition in later life. It's a devastating disease that robs people of their lives," said the chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society.  "Everyone should get their blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly and receive effective treatment."