We studied the association of mid-life blood pressure to late age dementia, specifically Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. Data are from the cohort of 3703 Japanese-American men who were followed in the Honolulu Heart Program (HHP;1965-1971), and subsequently re-examined in 1991 for dementia. We assessed the risk (odds ratio (95% CI)) for dementia associated with categories of systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), stratified by never/ever treatment with anti-hypertensive medications, and adjusting for age, education, apolipoprotein epsilon allele, smoking and alcohol intake. Among those never treated (57% sample), the risk for dementia was OR 95% CI 3.8 (1.6-8.7) for DBP of 90-94 mm Hg, and 4. 3 (1.7-10.8) for DBP of 95 mmHg and over compared to those with DBP of 80 to 89 mm Hg. Compared to those with SBP of 110 to 139 mm Hg, the risk for dementia was 4.8 (2.0-11.0) in those with SBP 160 mm Hg and higher. Blood pressure was not associated with the risk for dementia in treated men. These results were consistent for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. This study suggests elevated levels of blood pressure in middle age can increase the risk for late age dementia in men never treated with anti-hypertensive medication.