I write a lot about high blood pressure — mostly slamming the ridiculous recommendations that mainstream doctors are somehow still making to deal with this common health problem. (I’m looking at you, DASH!)
But don’t get me wrong. Hypertension should never be ignored. And studies like the one I want to share today serve as a stark reminder why.
This study observed a group of more than 7,000 older people from northern California. All of them had received blood pressure checks between 1964 and 1973, when they were in their early 30s, on average. And then again, in their mid-40s.
Researchers tracked down 5,646 of the patients who were still alive in 1996, and followed them for the next 15 years. In that time, 532 received a dementia diagnosis.
Results revealed a worrisome trend: Having high blood pressure in mid-life raised dementia risk by 65 percent, for the women in this study. And if a woman first developed high blood pressure in her 40s? Well, she was a whopping 73 percent more likely to develop dementia than women with stable blood pressure throughout adulthood.
And yes, this was after adjusting for obvious dementia factors like smoking status, diabetes, and body mass index.
The same risk didn’t appear to apply to men, even though high blood pressure was more common in this group. And interestingly, it didn’t even appear to apply to cases of hypertension in early adulthood. (Though it goes without saying, there’s never a safe time to have high blood pressure.)
Ultimately researchers aren’t sure what makes mid-life hypertension so dangerous for women’s brains, in particular. But the message is clear — failing to control your blood pressure carries severe consequences for your cognitive health.
So if you’ve been neglecting your numbers, it’s time to get serious.
As usual, that means thinking twice about where you turn for guidance. You may have noticed by now that most mainstream doctors are chock full of bad advice — usually handed straight down from all the misinformed “authorities” on the subject.
That’s why I’ve dedicated so many discussions to dispelling the most common myths in this department. And why I’ll also be taking on the American Diabetes’s Association’s latest blood pressure recommendations — the good, the bad, and the deadly — in the upcoming issue of my monthly newsletter Logical Health Alternatives. (If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time.