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High blood pressure will play games with your mind, along with your heart

Subjects with poor management of their hypertension scored worst on mental function tests.

High blood pressure has long been known as a risk factor leading to heart disease. And growing research data indicate that the progression of cardiovascular disease is related to a decline in cognitive function. Now the latest research, a link between hypertension and decreased mental function.

A study published in the June 2005 issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that those with well-managed hypertension performed better on mental function tests than those who managed their blood pressure poorly. Middle-aged and senior male subjects, ages 53 to 84 years, who had hypertension performed worse on cognitive function tests including: manual dexterity, mental speed, and memory, than their healthy counterparts. And most telling of the data was that those who managed their blood pressure the worst scored the lowest and were most vulnerable to poor cognitive function.

Whether you chose diet and exercise or medication, or possibly a combination of both, controlling your blood pressure appears to be critical to keeping your mind sharp and your memory intact.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 10.02.05