Do elevated blood pressures lead to cognitive dysfunction?
If there ever was, there is no longer any argument that hypertension is a critical risk factor for stroke and its consequent disabilities. But there is more to the unhealthy relationship between elevated blood pressures and brain injury. More recent data address a new and disturbing question: Is hypertension a risk factor for cognitive dysfunction and dementia? With the epidemic of Alzheimer disease and other dementias a fact of contemporary aging, finding the answer--and doing something about it--is critical.
Are you current on the recent literature? Let’s find out with a short quiz.
1. Which of the following statements are true?
A. In a French study of 1,373 persons aged 59 to 71 years, the risk of cognitive impairment on 4-year follow-up was increased slightly in those individuals with hypertension.
B. In the same study, among those individuals with hypertension, there was a greater increase in the risk of cognitive impairment in those patients who were not treated for their hypertension.
C. At 3-year follow up in another study of persons aged ≥ 75 years (n=1301), with and without dementia, those with hypertension who were treated had a 30% lower incidence of dementia than those with hypertension who were untreated.