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Senior Health Week: Alzheimer's Disease
Health News You Can Use •

Alzheimer News:

No Evidence High Blood Pressure After 65 Is a Factor in Alzheimer's Disease

Researchers at Columbia University report that high blood pressure after the age of 65 is not associated with Alzheimer's disease, although a history of high blood pressure could be a precursor to vascular dementia, especially in the presence of heart disease or diabetes.

The seven-year study included 1,259 dementia-free patients - 731 (58.1 percent) of whom had a history of high blood pressure associated with diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Results of the study, appearing in Neurology, found the risk of Alzheimer's disease did not increase in patients with high blood pressure or heart disease alone.

But for patients who had both high blood pressure and heart disease, the risk of developing vascular dementia tripled. And in patients with high blood pressure and diabetes, the risk was six times as great.

"Hypertension after age 65 years is not associated with Alzheimer's disease and does not adversely affect memory, language, or general cognitive function," the researchers said. "A history of hypertension may be an antecedent to (vascular dementia), particularly in the presence of heart disease or diabetes."

Source: Alzheimer Week of May 5, 2002


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