Elevated Blood Pressure Is Risk Factor For Vascular Dementia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kazem Rahimi, DM, MSc Oxford Martin School University of Oxford United Kingdom

Dr. Kazem Rahimi

Kazem Rahimi, DM, MSc
Oxford Martin School
University of Oxford
United Kingdom

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Rahimi: Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia and is increasing in prevalence worldwide. Vascular dementia often occurs after stroke and can cause apathy, depression, and a decline in cognitive function, and can eventually result in death. High blood pressure (BP) has been identified as a potential risk factor for the development of vascular dementia. However, previous studies, which have been small in size, have reported conflicting results on the relationship between blood pressure and vascular dementia.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Rahimi: In this study, we analysed medical records from 4.28 million individuals, 11 114 of whom developed vascular dementia. We observed a strong association between blood pressure and vascular dementia between the ages of 30-70, with a 20 mm Hg higher systolic BP associated with a 65% higher risk of vascular dementia at age 30-50 and a 26% higher risk at age 51 to 70. Furthermore, BP was associated with a higher risk of vascular dementia even after adjusting for the presence of stroke, indicating that blood pressure increases the risk of vascular dementia even if one does not have a stroke.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Dr. Rahimi: Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for vascular dementia. Our results suggest that BP lowering, whether by improvements in diet or exercise, or by greater use of  blood pressure lowering drugs, may reduce the incidence of vascular dementia.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Rahimi: Future randomized trials should examine whether BP lowering can be used to prevent vascular dementia or slow its onset. Future research should also examine whether individuals with or at high risk of vascular dementia are being treated with BP lowering drugs.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Rahimi: These results are particularly important as vascular dementia is increasing in prevalence worldwide and will pose a significant economic and social burden in both developed and developing countries.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Blood Pressure and Risk of Vascular Dementia: Evidence From a Primary Care Registry and a Cohort Study of Transient Ischemic Attack and Stroke
Connor A. Emdin, Peter M. Rothwell, Gholamreza Salimi-Khorshidi, Amit Kiran, Nathalie Conrad, Thomas Callender, Ziyah Mehta, Sarah T. Pendlebury, Simon G. Anderson, Hamid Mohseni, Mark Woodward, And Kazem Rahimi
Stroke. 2016;STROKEAHA.116.012658published online before print May 10 2016, doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.012658

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Last Updated on May 23, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD