Age of onset of hypertension and risk of dementia in the oldest-old: The 90+ Study

Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Feb;13(2):103-110. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2016.09.007. Epub 2017 Jan 17.


Introduction: We investigated the association between age of onset of hypertension and dementia risk in an oldest-old cohort.

Methods: Participants are from The 90+ Study, a population-based longitudinal study of people aged 90+ who are survivors from the Leisure World Cohort Study. We estimated hypertension onset age using self-reported information from The 90+ Study and Leisure World Cohort Study, collected about 20 years earlier. A total of 559 participants without dementia were followed every 6 months for up to 10 years.

Results: A total of 224 participants developed dementia during follow-up (mean = 2.8 years). Compared with those without hypertension, participants whose hypertension onset age was 80 to 89 years had a lower dementia risk (hazard ratio = 0.58, P = .04) and participants with an onset age of 90+ years had the lowest risk (hazard ratio = 0.37, P = .004).

Discussion: Developing hypertension at older ages may protect against dementia. Understanding the mechanisms for this lower risk is important for determining ways to prevent dementia in the very elderly.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Dementia; Epidemiology; Hypertension; Oldest-old; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dementia / complications
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Status and Dementia Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antihypertensive Agents