MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Women who develop high blood pressure in their 40s could be much more likely to suffer dementia later in life. That’s according to a new California study that found men do not face the same risk, despite being more susceptible to high blood pressure.
The increased risk for women could run as high as 73-percent, the researchers reported.
Researchers reviewed the records of more than 5,600 patients of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system, tracking them for 15 years to see developed dementia. They found that people with high blood pressure in their 30s did not appear to have any increased risk of dementia.
But women who developed high blood pressure in their 40s did have an increased risk of dementia, even after the researchers adjusted for other factors like smoking, diabetes and excess weight.
However, the study did not prove that early high blood pressure caused dementia risk to rise in women, just that there was an association.
Men did not have a similar risk from high blood pressure in their 40s, but that could be because they were more likely to die before they grew old enough to suffer from dementia, according to researchers.
Other factors such as genetic differences, lifestyle differences and sex-specific hormones also might separate men and women when it comes to dementia risk associated with high blood pressure.
The study was published Oct. 4 in the journal Neurology.