If you have high blood pressure, known as hypertension, and are taking certain medications for the condition, you also may be lowering your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In an analysis of previously collected medical data, researchers with Johns Hopkins Medicine report that individuals who regularly take prescribed blood pressure medication reduce their risk for developing Alzheimer’s by about 50 percent.
Researchers uncovered a link between blood pressure and Alzheimer’s years ago, but newer investigations are finding additional reasons behind the connection. The Johns Hopkins report published in the journal Neurology confirmed an earlier study that credited potassium-sparing diuretics for lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly 75 percent and general antihypertensive medication for reducing the risk by roughly a third. The Johns Hopkins team also noted that certain blood pressure medications lowered Alzheimer’s and dementia progression in patients already diagnosed with the degenerative brain conditions.
As the search for the benefits of blood pressure medications on brain health continues, doctors recommend the following ways to keep a check on hypertension:
- Lose extra weight. Being overweight raises blood pressure. Carrying additional weight particularly around your waistline increases the risk for high blood pressure.
- Adopt healthy eating. The eating plan “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) advises a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains with minimal saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Lower sodium intake. Reading food labels for low-sodium choices, limiting consumption of processed foods, and skipping flavoring your foods with salt all help decrease sodium and blood pressure levels.
- Maintain regular exercise. Regular physical activity, especially cardio exercise including biking, running, swimming and walking, lowers blood pressure.
- Stop smoking. Smoking elevates blood pressure for several minutes after each use of a nicotine product, including e-cigarettes.
For assistance with dementia care or with blood pressure monitoring, hypertension medications, or nutrition and exercise routines, Right at Home in-home care providers are professionally trained and ready to help.
What do you find most promising about high blood pressure medications lowering dementia risk?
An award-winning journalist who has documented stories in nearly 20 countries, Beth Lueders is an author, writer and speaker who frequently reports on diverse topics, including aging and health issues for both U.S. and international corporations.