By: Lauren Elsberry, M.P.H., CHES, Health Communication Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP)
An astounding 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. You may know that high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. But you may not be aware that a startling new risk is emerging: high blood pressure is linked to a higher risk for dementia, which is the severe loss of memory and judgment.
Timing seems to matter: Having high blood pressure during midlife (age 45 to 65) raises your risk for dementia later in life. Vascular dementia — one of the most common types of dementia — is usually caused by the impact of multiple strokes over time, including small “silent” strokes that can occur unnoticed as you age. High blood pressure is the main culprit.
This link between high blood pressure and dementia is the focus of the Mind Your Risks campaign, led by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health.
High blood pressure is even riskier. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.http://www.MindYourRisks.NIH.gov
High blood pressure affects people of all ages, but millions of Americans don’t even know they have it. That’s because high blood pressure often has no warning signs or symptoms. The good news is that high blood pressure is preventable and treatable.
READ MORE: It’s Never Too Early to “Mind Your Risks” for High Blood Pressure