Over a year ago the BBC reported a link between high blood pressure and dementia – suggesting that it can starve the brain of bloodflow and the oxygen it carries – often described as “vascular dementia”, and account for one in four dementia cases.
Recently a new study revealed that people with higher diastolic blood pressure reading are more likely to have cognitive impairment and go on to encourage getting your blood pressure under control as that just might help reduce thinking problems prevent memory loss.
The research study reported finding a link between memory problems and with high diastolic blood pressure – the measurement of the pressure in your blood vessels in between heartbeats, and is the second number in a blood pressure measurement.
The study from the University of Alabama sampled almost twenty thousand people aged 45 and above.
The results held even when scientists considered other things that affect thinking ability and memory skills such as education and even whether or not they smoked.
For every 10 point increase in the diastolic reading, the chances of a person suffering from cognitive problems was increased by 7 per cent, according to the findings, published in the journal Neurology.
Dr Georgio Tsivgoulis, from the University of Alabama, who led the study, said:
It is of course possible that by preventing or treating high blood pressure, we could potentially prevent cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia.
More studies of blood pressure and memory loss
Researchers say they need to do more studies to confirm these findings but other research has shown high diastolic blood pressure leads to weakening of the small arteries in the brain.