High blood pressure in otherwise healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 83 is associated with a measurable decline in cognitive function, according to a report published today by University of Maine researchers in the pre-publication online edition of the journal Hypertension. The article will appear in the October issue of the printed journal.
While they characterize the decline as "relatively minor and manageable in terms of everyday functioning," the authors underscore the importance of treatment for high blood pressure. In their study, younger individuals (18-47) performed at a higher level than older individuals (48-83), but they, like older individuals, showed blood pressure-related decline in cognitive function over time.
The study "breaks new ground," and "has far-reaching public health implications," according to an editorial by medical researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands published in the same issue of the journal. It extends what has been viewed as a problem of the elderly to younger people. Hypertension is published by the American Heart Association. The authors are Penelope K. Elias, Merrill F. Elias and Michael A. Robbins of the UMaine Department of Psychology and Marc M. Budge of the Dept. of Geriatric Medicine, Canberra Hospital, Australia.
Merrill F. (Pete) Elias | EurekAlert!
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