High blood pressure linked to vascular dementia, study shows

High blood pressure could significantly raise the risk of developing the second most common form of dementia, according to a new study from The George Institute for Global Health released today.

The medical records of more than four million people were analysed with researchers finding heightened blood pressure was associated with a 62% higher risk of vascular dementia between the ages of 30-50. Researchers analysed the medical records of over 4 million people in the UK, following more than 11,000 people who went onto develop vascular dementia.

Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society said:

‘While it is well known that high blood pressure can be bad for your heart, this research adds to the evidence that it can also be bad for your head.

‘This is the largest ever analysis done on blood pressure and vascular dementia, which is caused by problems with blood supply to the brain, using the anonymised primary health care records of over four million people in the UK. The results show that even in your 30s and 40s, high blood pressure can significantly raise the risk of vascular dementia later in life.

‘There is no silver bullet for preventing dementia, but everyone who is at risk of high blood pressure should get it checked regularly and receive effective treatment. Exercising regularly, not smoking and eating a diet that’s rich in fresh fish, fruit and veg, and low in sugar and red meat can all help to lower your risk of dementia.’