Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Uncontrolled high blood pressure means more cognitive problems in old age

06.12.2005


Study underscores another keyreason to control hypertension



People with high blood pressure and their doctors have a new reason to work at controlling this common but high-risk condition: As patients get older, they might otherwise have worse-than-normal problems with short-term memory and verbal ability. New research shows that uncontrolled hypertension puts people at higher risk for sharper drops in these cognitive functions than does blood pressure that’s normal due to diet, exercise and/or medication. The study appears in the current issue of Neuropsychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Because blood pressure typically increases with age, hypertension affects 60 percent of adults age 60 and older. However, this "silent killer" often goes undetected or inadequately treated, leaving nearly 40 percent of older hypertensive people with continued high readings -- even with treatment. As a result, the findings suggest that a substantial number of older people with uncontrolled hypertension will experience significant cognitive declines, especially because with age, hypertension becomes more common and harder to control.


Researchers at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System, Harvard Medical School and the Boston University School of Public Health looked at a subset of men in the VA Normative Aging Study, a longitudinal study that started in 1963 and added neuropsychological tests in 1993. In this smaller cross-sectional study, 357 men from the larger sample averaged 67 years of age, lived in the community, didn’t have dementia or other serious medical problems, and showed stable blood pressure over a three-year interval. Hypertension was defined as measuring 140/90 and higher.

Co-authors Christopher Brady, PhD, Avron Spiro III, PhD, and J. Michael Gaziano, MD, MPH, found that the older the men, the predictably lower their overall neuropsychological performance. However, older men in the sample with uncontrolled hypertension did significantly worse on specific tests of verbal fluency (generating words in a given category) and immediate recall of a word list (short-term memory).

The uncontrolled hypertensives’ decrements on fluency were 2.4 times as great as for those with normal pressure; their decrement with immediate recall was 1.3 times as great. That means by the age of 80, men with uncontrolled hypertension could generate seven fewer words in a given category, and recall about one and a half fewer words on average, than the other 80-year-old men in the study.

"The findings suggest that uncontrolled hypertension produces specific cognitive deficits beyond those attributable to age alone," the researchers report. They also note that their findings are consistent with other studies that suggest that anti-hypertensive drugs do not hurt cognition, given that the men with controlled hypertension who used them in this study did as well as men who had naturally normal blood pressure. The researchers speculate that high blood pressure somehow exacerbates the normal effects of age on the frontal lobes, making it even harder to quickly retrieve information such as words.

The authors raise the possibility that the actual proportion of cognitive problems among older people with uncontrolled hypertension in the general population may actually be larger than seen in the study, because this sample used healthy men with no other health problems. Uncontrolled hypertension also is known to raise the risk of vascular dementia, the second most common form of serious cognitive impairment after Alzheimer’s disease.

Pam Willenz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.apa.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers devise microreactor to study formation of methane hydrate

23.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

ShAPEing the future of magnesium car parts

23.08.2017 | Automotive Engineering

New insights into the world of trypanosomes

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>