According to a Finnish study, middle-aged people with
high blood pressure and cholesterol are at greater risk of
developing Alzheimer's later in life, but treating those
conditions early may help avoid the disease.
Not only that, researchers in the Netherlands find that
people who have other so-called vascular diseases like
atherosclerosis or diabetes and people who smoke also have a
greater risk of developing dementia later in life.
It is thought that having high blood pressure or
atherosclerosis causes damage to the small blood vessels of
the brain, which leads to loss of cerebral tissue. This in
turn leads to diminishing cognitive function and an
increased risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease.
The study shows the following:
- Those with a systolic blood pressure greater than
160 were 2.3 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's.
- Those with cholesterol greater than 250 were 2.1 times
more likely to develop Alzheimer's.
- Those with both conditions — systolic blood pressure
greater than 160 and cholesterol level over 250 — were
3.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's.