High blood pressure may lead to cognitive decline, according to a new study. In the study, researchers examined the effect of existing, prevalent and newly diagnosed incidents of hypertension on cognition that included 1, 805 adults between the ages of 25 to 84.

When the study started, 638 people had existing hypertension. After 12 years of follow-up, an additional 352 people were diagnosed with hypertension. Those who had hypertension at the start of the study had a faster decline in several cognitive measures than those with normal blood pressure. Even those people who developed hypertension also showed greater cognitive decline than people with normal blood pressure but less cognitive decline than people who had hypertension at the start of the study. Cognitive decline was gradual at first among those who developed hypertension during the study.
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The effect hypertension had was greater among middle-aged people than older people, says researchers. The authors of the study suggests that among newly diagnosed people, early treatment of hypertension could reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.