We all know it’s important to maintain good blood pressure levels for our overall heart health. According to a new study, keeping those numbers in check can also help us lower our risk of developing dementia — especially for women.
It might seem like an odd connection, but researchers from the George Institute for Global Health found that women with high blood pressure (or hypertension) in their 50s and 60s are also more likely to be diagnosed with dementia later in life.
Unfortunately, hypertension in women frequently goes undiagnosed and untreated. The CDC explains that it can be tricky to spot without any other symptoms or warning signs to indicate there’s an issue. Regularly measuring your blood pressure is the only way to know whether it’s getting off track. If it starts creeping up over 120/80, you might be in trouble.
Lead study author Jessica Gong said in a press release, “Our results suggest a more tailored approach to treating high blood pressure could be more effective at preventing future cases of dementia.” That means keeping up with your doctor appointments, taking it seriously if they notice your BP numbers rising, and following their treatment advice to lower it back down.
The study also points out that dementia has become a global epidemic with 50 million people currently diagnosed with it worldwide. The rate of dementia-related deaths is also rising — with women making up more of those losses than men.
So, lowering the risk of developing it to begin with is essential. If you notice your blood pressure soaring, you can use natural remedies like tart cherry juice or daily stretches to bring the numbers down again. The CDC also recommends eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and managing stress to keep things balanced.
Everyone is different, so be sure to talk with your doctor if you have any worries about your blood pressure. Your heart and mind will thank you!