Stage one (>140 mmHg) and stage two (>160 mmHg) systolic hypertension in midlife is associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. However, no association was observed for diastolic hypertension.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of seven studies identified after a search across the PubMed, Embase and Medline databases.
The findings from a random-effects model showed that systolic hypertension (>160 mmHg) increased the risk for AD by 25 per cent (hazard ratio [HR] 1.25; 95% CI 1.06-1.47; P=.0065). Similarly, the risk for AD increased by 18 per cent with systolic hypertension >140 mmHg (HR 1.18; 95% CI 1.02-1.35; P=.021).
Four studies examining diastolic hypertension using a cut-off of >90 mmHg indicated non-significant associations between diastolic hypertension and AD. Data for these studies could not be pooled because of heterogeneity in reporting.
“It seems likely that if we are to address the growing epidemiological challenge posed by AD there needs to be an assertive control over hypertension beginning in midlife,” the authors said.