Sufferers of high blood pressure at night are at higher risk of dementia, according to scientists. Over a quarter of adults in the UK are affected by hypertension, which puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs.
High blood pressure during the day has already been revealed as a risk factor for diabetes, now scientists claim that there is a risk of memory loss if hypertension is developed at nighttime, reports .
The risks of developing high blood pressure increase if you maintain an unhealthy diet, or do not do enough exercise. Hypertension patients crucially need to monitor their blood pressure to check whether they’re at risk of dementia.
“High blood pressure, particularly in midlife, is a strong risk factor for dementia,” said Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. ”While age and genetics play an important role, research also shows that up to a third of our risk for dementia may be modifiable. In other words, dementia isn’t an inevitable part of getting older.
For most people, our blood pressure goes down at night, which is called ‘dipping’, but for some, in particular those with high blood pressure, their blood pressure remains high or even goes up, and this is called ‘reverse dipping’.
“Although the phenomenon of reverse dipping during the night is an accepted measure of cardiovascular risk, the effect that reverse dipping has on dementia risk is a relatively understudied area of research. In times like this, it’s especially important we retain a healthy lifestyle for all aspects of our health.”
While hypertension is a common condition, many people may not realise they may be living with it as the symptoms tend to only reveal themselves at extremely high blood pressure. The most common high blood pressure symptoms include headaches, finding blood in your urine, and having a pounding in your chest.
The best way to lower your blood pressure is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As well as maintaining a healthy blood pressure, the best evidence suggests that not smoking, only drinking in moderation, staying mentally and physically active, eating a balanced diet, and keeping cholesterol levels in check can all help to keep our brains healthy as we age.
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