Mid-adulthood saw a 65 percent increased risk in hypertensive women, Whitmer and co-authors wrote, and those women were 73 percent more likely to develop dementia than women with normotensive blood pressure. The estimated effect of early adulthood hypertension status on dementia risk was higher in women, as well, but men with hypertension didn’t see those same increased risk factors in either phase of life.
“Despite the fact that the men in our study were more likely to have high blood pressure at all ages, developing high blood pressure in mid-adulthood was a risk factor for dementia only in women,” Whitmer said in a release from Kaiser Permanente.
Early-adulthood hypertension wasn’t associated with dementia risk in women. Although hypertensive women in their 30s did see a 31 percent increased risk of dementia, those numbers don’t differ largely from counterparts with normotensive blood pressure.