Intensive Blood Pressure Control and Dementia Risk

Feb 2, 2019
Does Intensive Blood Pressure Control Reduce the Risk of Dementia?

Bottom Line: Alzheimer disease and related dementias are projected to affect 115 million people worldwide by 2050. There are currently no proven treatments to reduce the risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). High blood pressure (hypertension) has been identified as a potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia and MCI in observational studies. In this randomized clinical trial that included about 9,400 adults age 50 or older with hypertension, participants were treated to achieve a systolic blood pressure goal of either less than 120 mm Hg (intensive treatment) or less than 140 mm Hg (standard treatment). The researchers found that intensive blood pressure control did not result in a significant reduction in the risk of probable dementia compared to those who received standard treatment. The study may have been underpowered for this outcome because of early termination of the study and fewer than expected cases of dementia.

Authors: Jeff D. Williamson, M.D., M.H.S., Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and coauthors