Why Higher BP May Protect Against Alzheimer’s Risk

People with higher blood pressure may have a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease, a new study has shown.

People with higher blood pressure may have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, a new study has shown. Findings from the study are published in PLOS Medicine.

Researchers from the Brigham Young University evaluated data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium and the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project that included 17,008 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 37,154 without the disease.

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The study analyzed links between Alzheimer’s disease and various health conditions (eg, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol). Mendelian randomization was utilized to find if risk factors (eg, BMI, insulin resistance, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes) for Alzheimer’s had a causal relationship. A significant association was only found between higher systolic blood pressure and reduced Alzheimer’s risk. A mild connection was found between smoking and Alzheimer’ risk.

They believe that the link may be due to the antihypertensive medications more than the high blood pressure itself. John Kauwe, a co-author of the study, concluded “we need to take a serious look at them for Alzheimer’s prevention.”

For more information visit BYU.edu.