May 19, 2024

Medical Trend

Medical News and Medical Resources

Abnormal Blood Pressure Fluctuations Increase the Risk of Dementia in Older Adults

Abnormal Blood Pressure Fluctuations Increase the Risk of Dementia in Older Adults



Research Reveals Abnormal Blood Pressure Fluctuations Increase the Risk of Dementia in Older Adults

A recent study has found that short-term fluctuations in blood pressure over the course of a day or several days can elevate the risk of dementia in older individuals.

The findings from this study suggest that blood pressure changes can serve as early clinical markers of cognitive impairment.

The health risks associated with high blood pressure are well-known, including an increased risk of developing dementia. However, in recent years, with the adoption of wearable non-invasive blood pressure monitoring devices, blood pressure variability has gained significance as a determining factor in health risks.

Now, a new study by researchers at the University of South Australia has linked short-term blood pressure fluctuations occurring over a day, several days, or even weeks to the risk of dementia in older adults.

Daria Gutteridge, the lead author of the study, stated, “Clinical treatments have often focused on high blood pressure while overlooking blood pressure variability. Blood pressure varies over different time frames – short-term and long-term fluctuations, and this appears to increase the risk of dementia and vascular health.”

The researchers recruited 70 healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 80, with no signs of dementia or cognitive impairment. Participants underwent blood pressure monitoring and cognitive testing. The researchers also measured the degree of arterial stiffness in participants’ brains and arteries. Arterial stiffness is a recognized cardiovascular risk factor for cognitive impairment and has a close bidirectional relationship with high blood pressure.

Abnormal Blood Pressure Fluctuations Increase the Risk of Dementia in Older Adults

A quick review of blood pressure: The top number, called systolic pressure, represents the measurement of arterial pressure when the heart beats. The bottom number, called diastolic pressure, represents arterial pressure when the heart rests between beats. For example, in a blood pressure reading of 120/60, 120 is the systolic pressure, and 60 is the diastolic pressure.

The researchers found that high systolic pressure as well as short-term and long-term diastolic pressure variability were associated with poorer cognitive function, independent of average blood pressure. High short-term blood pressure variability was linked to lower attention and psychomotor speed, while daily blood pressure variability was negatively correlated with executive function.

High systolic pressure with short-term blood pressure variability was associated with increased arterial stiffness, while high diastolic pressure with short-term blood pressure variability was associated with lower arterial stiffness.

“We found that large fluctuations in blood pressure within a day or over several days are related to declines in cognitive abilities,” stated Gutteridge. “We also found that high blood pressure variability in systolic pressure is related to increased arterial stiffness. These results suggest that different types of blood pressure changes may reflect different underlying biological mechanisms, and variations in both systolic and diastolic pressure changes are crucial for the cognitive function of older adults.”

The researchers noted that since high blood pressure variability is linked to decreased cognitive abilities and increased arterial stiffness, yet there are no clinically related cognitive impairments, blood pressure variability could be used as a potential early marker for cognitive impairment or as a target for cognitive impairment treatment.

In conclusion, the study underscores the importance of considering both systolic and diastolic pressure variability when optimizing blood pressure management as a dementia risk factor.

This research has been published in the journal “Cerebral Circulation and Behavior.”

Abnormal Blood Pressure Fluctuations Increase the Risk of Dementia in Older Adults

(source:internet, reference only)


Disclaimer of medicaltrend.org


Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.