September 5, 2019 – Blood Pressure Drop


Anchor lead: A drop in blood pressure later in life may result in cognitive impairment, Elizabeth Tracey reports

High blood pressure or hypertension is a known risk factor for the development of dementia, but now a Johns Hopkins study shows that among those with the condition a late life drop in blood pressure is even more of a problem. Keenan Walker, the study’s lead investigator, explains.

Walker: People with midlife hypertension who then have late life hypotension, or a drop in blood pressure in late life after having hypertension in midlife, we suspected that this group may be particularly vulnerable to dementia. We found evidence to support that. The novelty of the finding lies there. Because chronic hypertension the finding has been demonstrated. The longer you have hypertension the worse off your brain is going to be. But this drop in blood pressure may also be problematic as well, especially for those who had hypertension in midlife.  :30

The study found about a 13% increased risk for dementia in those whose blood pressure dropped late in life. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.