High BP at Night, Alzheimer’s Risk May Rise, Too

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay reporter

TUESDAY, February 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Older men whose blood pressure rises at night may be at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

Blood pressure changes over 24 hours. It usually rises during the day and dives at night. But some people have an opposite pattern, called reverse dipping.

“Nighttime is a critical time for brain health. For example, in animals, the brain has already been shown to eliminate waste during sleep, and that clearance is compromised by abnormal blood pressure patterns,” co-author of the study Christian Dit Benoît. He is associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Uppsala in Sweden.

“Since the night is also a critical window of time for the health of the human brain, we investigated whether too high blood pressure at night, as seen in the reverse dip, was associated with a higher risk of dementia in older men, ”Benedict said in a college press release. .

Blood pressure is one of several factors that can influence your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Benedict and his colleagues analyzed data from 1,000 older Swedish men who were followed up to 24 years. The men were in their early 60s when researchers began tracking them.

“The risk of being diagnosed with dementia was 1.64 times higher in men with reverse dipping than in those with normal dipping. Reverse dipping primarily increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.” said study co-author Xiao Tan, a postdoctoral fellow in the university’s neuroscience department.

The study was published on February 8 in the journal Hypertension.

Because the study group consisted only of older men, “our results need to be replicated in older women,” noted Benedict.

The study authors said a next step in this line of research would be to examine whether taking antihypertensive drugs can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older men.

More information

The US National Institute on Aging has more on Alzheimer’s risk factors.

SOURCE: Uppsala University, press release, February 8, 2021

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