Hypertension in Women Tied to Increased Dementia Risk

Researchers have found link between high blood pressure and dementia in women over 40

Numerous research studies have discovered a new, yet unfortunate, distinction for women; that gender plays a difference in how blood pressure affects the risk of developing dementia. The overall results are showing that women who have hypertension while in their 40s are much more likely to develop dementia as they age. However, men with the same hypertension in midlife appear to have no impact on their risk for dementia.

While there are many articles reporting this, here are a few for you to review:

This information is particularly concerning because hypertension, once discovered, is treatable. Women’s health issues are many and varied, but with this direct cause and effect, women need to prioritize this new correlation. That prioritization begins with awareness and lifestyle choices.

The American Heart Association suggests blood pressure screenings for all women at least annually and with all primary care doctor visits. Also, if there are new conditions that develop, such as headaches or vision changes or respiratory changes, then blood pressure should be checked by a medical professional. With the ease of access to blood pressure machines, it is easy to individually track your own trends and changes so as to indicate the need for further medical attention. Pharmacies, exercise facilities, medical spas are just a few examples of locations where blood pressure machines are frequently found.

Blood pressure is made up of two numbers/measurements:

  1. Systolic: The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure that your heart exerts with each heart beat as it is pushing your blood throughout your body.
  2. Diastolic: The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure when your heart is relaxing between each heart beat.

The below chart shows ranges for low, ideal, pre (or at risk) and high blood pressure. These are not exact definitions, as blood pressure changes constantly and many factors may influence, but they are accepted ranges for diagnostics. The ideal way to obtain a blood pressure is with the left arm while seated after 5-10 minutes of rest.

Blood pressure chart for adults

For sustained, elevated blood pressure, there are a number of medications that your physician may prescribe. Remember, managing and reducing your blood pressure is of utmost importance in women, especially during their 40s, in order to decrease the risk of dementia later in life.

However, there are also some lifestyle practices that women can incorporate into their daily routines to help them lower their blood pressure without using medication.

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