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AHA Statement: Hypertension, Dementia Linked

Research issued by the American Heart Association shows compelling evidence that hypertension in mid-life is associated with late-life dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Medpage Today reports. Interestingly, despite “insufficient data to make evidence-based recommendations,” study authors suggested that treatment for hypertension be employed to help stave off dementia, even though lowering blood pressure in the elderly “can be detrimental.”

It’s disturbing that these authors would rush to treat patients with blood pressure drugs, even though they have no solid, scientific proof that aggressively treating hypertension will result in preventing dementia. Admitting that the treatment is highly individualized when it comes to hypertension, I fear that as a consequence of this, many people may be overdiagnosed and subsequently overtreated with drugs that may not even produce the result they’re looking for.

This adds to the problem of drug treatments for cholesterol levels that can be harmful and costly. Statin treatment, for example, has adversely affected countless numbers of patients, based on an incorrect hypothesis that severely lowering cholesterol will help you live a longer life.

It’s true that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a very serious health concern that can lead to heart disease and increased risk for stroke. The good news is, by optimizing your dietary intake, exercising and effectively managing your stress, the odds of lowering your blood pressure without drugs are greatly in your favor.

A good start is to eliminate grains and sugar from your diet, especially if you are insulin-resistant. If you’re overweight, lose weight. Balance the omega fats in your diet. Begin and maintain an exercise program, and get plenty of natural sunshine.