Hypertension and cognitive impairment
Numerous studies have demonstrated that hypertension increases the risk for cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease (1-11). In a 5-year longitudinal study of 353 community-dwelling persons, mean age 72 years, increased blood pressure variability was associated with poorer cognitive function (5). In a study of 1,373 persons aged 59 to 71 years of age in France, the risk of cognitive impairment at 4-year assessment was increased 2.8 times in persons with hypertension (2). In persons with hypertension, the risk of cognitive impairment was increased 4.3 times in persons who were not treated with antihypertensive drug therapy versus increased 1.9 times in persons treated with antihypertensive drug therapy (2). In a study of 1,301 persons aged 75 years and older without dementia, at 3-year mean follow-up, persons with hypertension treated with antihypertensive drug therapy had a 30% lower incidence of dementia than persons with hypertension not treated with antihypertensive drug therapy (1).