Fluctuating Home Blood Pressure Linked to Dementia

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FUKUOKA, JAPAN — Large variations in day-to-day home blood-pressure readings were tied to an increased risk of future Alzheimer’s disease, independent of elevated systolic blood pressure, in a new study[1]. Having both variables predicted an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

In this analysis of Japanese individuals who had been 60 or older and measured their blood pressure daily for a month, people who have the most varying readings had more than double the risk of being diagnosed with vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease within five years vs those with stable readings.

These results, by Dr Emi Oishi (Kyushu University, Fukuoka City, Japan) and colleagues, were published August 7, 2017 in Circulation.

The findings suggest that adequately treating hypertension and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with reduced mental or physical stress and decent sleep habits “could contribute to lower the blood-pressure variability, which might then lead to decreased risk of dementia,” senior author Toshiharu Ninomiya, MD (Kyushu University) told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology in an email.

But, these are hypotheses, he cautioned, and if blood-pressure variability is a modifiable risk factor for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease has to be confirmed in further study.

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