A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found:. About one in three American adults has high blood pressure, and Dr Tara Narula says that lowering this number could potentially reduce the number of people suffering from dementia.
"Dementia affects about 10% of Americans over the age of 65," said Narula in "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday. "We don't have many great treatments or preventative measures. And many people are not aware that hypertension or high blood pressure may be associated with future risk of dementia. And this is something that can potentially be modified. "
Narula said the study followed about 4,800 Americans for 24 years and examined blood pressure patterns.
"They found two patterns related to an increased risk of dementia," said Narula. "The first occurred when you had high pressure in middle age, that is, 50 to 60 years, which persisted later in life. means less than 90 over 60. "
Narula said these findings underline the importance that hypertension is potentially modifiable.
"We can really make a huge impact on public health by controlling it," said Narula. "We must start at an early age, between 40 and 50 years old. And as for the older population, we need to do more research to find out what ideal blood pressure is when you grow old. "
So what can you do to control your blood pressure? The first step is to check your blood pressure values.
"You need to start researching early," said Narula. "We tell people at the age of 20 that you should start studying. You should know your numbers, have a very close relationship with your doctor if you often have high blood pressure. "
Lifestyle changes, such as reducing salt intake, increasing potassium, exercise, weight control, and reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can also help. Taking medication that you prescribe is also key.
"For many people, high blood pressure is asymptomatic," said Narula. "You feel good and that's why you think," I don't really have high blood pressure, "or" Maybe I used to have it, but now I'm fine. I don't have to take medicine. " But it is harmful that increased pressure damages all blood vessels that supply blood throughout the body. "
And these damages can lead to countless problems.
"This is associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease. Stroke, heart attack, heart failure, blindness, sexual dysfunction, "said Narula. "Wherever there is an artery in your body that sees high blood pressure, there is a possibility of these cells being damaged."
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