Hypertension and the Risk of Dementia

Front Cardiovasc Med. 2020 Jan 31;7:5. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2020.00005. eCollection 2020.


Hypertension, particularly midlife high blood pressure, has been related to a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer disease. However, these associations are complex and not fully elucidated. Cerebral small vessel disease emerges as one of the most important causes. Several observational studies have shown the potential beneficial role of antihypertensive treatment in preventing cognitive decline. However, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have shown controversial results without proving nor disproving the association. On the other hand, in very elderly or frail people some studies have observed a relationship between low blood pressure and worse cognitive function. The optimal systolic and diastolic blood pressure values for protecting cognitive function, especially in elderly people, are not known.

Keywords: antihypertensive treatment; cognitive function; cognitive impairment; dementia; essential hypertension; high blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Review