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How middle-age hypertension raises dementia risk later

IANS  |  London 

A high level but still below the usual threshold for treating can put 50-year-olds at increased risk of developing later, revealed a study led by an Indian-origin

According to the American Heart Association, normal is below 120/80 mmHg.

People with a systolic (the top number) of 130 mmHg or more at the age of 50 had a 45 per cent greater risk of developing than those with a lower level at the same age.

The risk was 47 per cent even in people with no heart or blood vessel-related conditions.

"Our work confirms the detrimental effects of midlife for risk of dementia," said Archana Singh-Manoux, at the French National Institute of and (INSERM) in

The reason for the increased risk of includes the fact that is linked to silent or (where symptoms often are not noticeable), damage to the white matter in the brain, which contains many of the brain's nerve fibres, and restricted blood supply to the brain.

This damage may underlie the resulting decline in the brain's processes, the researchers explained in the study of nearly 9,000 people, published in

However, the association was not seen at the ages of 60 and 70, and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) was not linked to dementia.

"Our analysis suggests that the importance of mid-life on brain is due to the duration of exposure," the said.

"So we see an increased risk for people with raised blood pressure at age 50, but not 60 or 70, because those with hypertension at age 50 are likely to be 'exposed' to this risk for longer," she added.

Another study reported in the journal Cardiovascular Research showed that higher risk of developing dementia in hypertensive patients occurs due to significant alterations in three specific white matter fibre-tracts linked to executive functions, processing speed, memory and related learning tasks -- brain areas associated with dementia.

--IANS

rt/mag/nir

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 16:08 IST
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