In their publication, the researchers noted that hypertension is more common in patients aged 45 to 64 and is associated with future brain health and dementia, but little is known about how the age at which high blood pressure is diagnosed affects these associations.
The study included the results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of about 11.4 thousand patients with high blood pressure under 55 years old, as well as 11.4 thousand people without hypertension from the same age group for comparison. The data was obtained from the British Biobank. The participants were followed up for about 12 years, and all cases of dementia in this cohort were monitored by specialists.
The researchers found that young hypertensive patients 35 years of age and older had less brain volume compared to study participants in the control group.
“Similarly, hypertension diagnosed in early and middle age was independently associated with lower volumes of peripheral gray matter and white matter,” the study authors wrote.
During the observation period, dementia was found in 4.6 thousand volunteers. Patients who were diagnosed with hypertension at the age of 35-44 had an increased risk of developing this neurodegenerative disease compared to people with normal blood pressure.
According to scientists, these results are quite natural, since cognitive functions are directly related to the volume of the brain, and its decrease threatens the development of dementia. Long-term hypertension affects blood flow to the brain and can damage its structure and reduce its function.
According to experts, it is very important to take care of brain health at an early age in order to prevent hypertension, CNN reports. In addition, lifestyle correction, proper nutrition and regular physical activity can help normalize blood pressure.