High blood pressure increases risk of cognitive impairment: research
People's Daily

A caretaker at Beijing Intech Nursing Home, a private facility, looks after an Alzheimer's patient in March 2011. (Photo: China Daily)

BEIJING - A study conducted by Chinese researchers has shown that high blood pressure increases the risk of cognitive impairment, according to China Science Daily Tuesday.

Researchers from Huashan Hospital of Fudan University and Qingdao Municipal Hospital conducted a meta-analysis of 209 prospective studies involving more than 2.2 million subjects. They collected the subjects' blood pressure-related indicators, including systolic and diastolic pressure, pulse pressure and blood pressure variability, and then analyzed their influence on cognitive impairment and dementia.

Results showed that hypertension in middle age can increase the risk of cognitive impairment. When the systolic blood pressure in middle age exceeds 130 mmHg, the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia is greatly increased.

Researchers also found that the application of antihypertensive drugs might help reduce the risk of dementia in people with normal cognition as well as those with mild cognitive impairment.

The study is of great importance for identifying individuals at high risk of cognitive impairment and developing effective prevention strategies, according to the report.

The research was published in the journal Hypertension.