Aggressive Blood Pressure Treatment Cuts Death and Reduce Dementia Risk: Study

According to research, lowering blood pressure below target levels reduces the risk of death and reduces dementia in adults aged 50+. Preparing for aging and long-term care is still vital to retirement planning.

Recommend This Page
Aggressive Blood Pressure Treatment Cuts Death and Reduce Dementia Risk: Study
3 Min Read September 13th, 2015 Updated:September 23rd, 2021

Lowering blood pressure lowers the risk of serious heart problems and even cuts the risk of death for adults aged 50 and above, according to a 2015 study.

The study of more than 9,300 patients aged 50+ with hypertension showed that lower blood pressure significantly reduced the chance of major cardiovascular disease events like heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and death.

The research said using a combination of medicines to reduce systolic pressure to a target of 120 versus 140 cut the rate of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure by almost a third and the risk of death by nearly a quarter.

"This study provides potentially life-saving information that will be useful to health care providers as they consider the best treatment options for some of their patients, particularly those over the age of 50."

Dr. Gary Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Lower Blood Pressure Benefits Health

Systolic blood pressure, the arterial pressure when the heart contracts, is the top number in a blood pressure reading. High blood pressure is widely considered a leading risk factor for heart disease, kidney failure, and other health problems. Many of these health issues can cause death or increase the risk of the need for long-term health care in older adults.

The vast majority of blood pressure medicines from a variety of classes are available as inexpensive generics. The classes include angiotensin receptor blockers, ARBs, such as Novartis' Diovan, calcium channel blockers, like Pfizer's Norvasc, ACE inhibitors, and Pfizer's Altace diuretics, such as Merck's Hyzaar.

Doctors on a conference call to discuss the study said blood pressure of 120 over 80 was shown to be desirable, but that 140/90 was a commonly used target. They also noted that there is no real consensus, which was a reason for conducting the trial.

"Patients should talk to their doctor to determine whether this lower goal is best for their individual care."

Dr. Lawrence Fine, chief of Clinical Applications and Prevention at the NHLBI.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, one in three Americans over the age of 18 years suffers from hypertension. They indicate the prevalence is higher among older individuals, women, and non-Hispanic blacks. 

Despite the increase in prevalence, recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) demonstrate an improvement in blood pressure control (50%) among Americans with hypertension. However, the blood pressure control rate remains suboptimal in people with serious comorbid conditions such as chronic kidney disease.

High Blood Pressure and Dementia Connection

Control of blood pressure has many positive impacts on health. The Alzheimer's Association says several conditions known to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases — such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol — also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's. Some autopsy studies show that as many as 80 percent of individuals with Alzheimer's disease also have cardiovascular disease.

In 2020 research, published in the journal Hypertension, confirmed a connection between high blood pressure and cognitive decline. High blood pressure was shown to speed up memory loss in middle-aged adults and the elderly. 

The study showed those who were not taking medication to lower high blood pressure saw faster declines in cognitive ability than those without high blood pressure or whose blood pressure was under control with medication. 

While there has always been a concern about uncontrolled high blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke, the connection with cognitive decline has a tremendous impact on aging and long-term health care.

With longer lifespans and bigger demand for long-term care, the pressure on society is even greater. While you cannot prevent aging and declining health, simple steps to control hypertension better could reduce some of the risks of dementia. 

Recommend This Page

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Aging happens so planning is vital. Before you retire, you should prepare your family and finances for changing health and aging. The costs of long-term health care can adversely affect income, assets, lifestyle, and legacy.

Family caregivers, if family even lives nearby, face tremendous stress, anxiety, and burden.

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will give you the resources to stay in control, access quality care, protect savings, and reduce the family burden. However, don't delay; the best time to obtain coverage is when you are in your 40s or 50s.

Seek Help of a Specialist

Most Long-Term Care specialists represent the top companies and can design an appropriate plan that fits your needs and budget. In addition, a specialist will also shop the top companies and match your age, health, and family history, so you get the best coverage at the best value - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Planning Resources Available on LTC NEWS

You can compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.

The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area. There are also available tax incentives, and see if these tax incentives are helpful - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Your Marketing and Advertising Partner – LTC NEWS

There are many marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, and strategic alliances are available. 

Drive traffic to your website and find the people interested in your products and services by using LTC NEWS. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your services.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

There is a big audience on LTC NEWS waiting for you to share your knowledge with them. You and your company or website have enormous benefits when you get an article published on LTC NEWS.

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS.

Just write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. Stay on topic with articles on health, aging, caregiving, retirement planning, long-term care, and other topics that interest adults over age 40. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email -  

Reverse Mortgages Could Help Fund Future Care or Pay for LTC Insurance

If you - or your loved one is in crisis now, a reverse mortgage could be an answer. Many people today that have much of their savings invested in their home. 

With today's reverse mortgages, you can use the money in your home to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, add retirement income, or even pay for in-home care if you need care now. 

Learn more now - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

Get Advice Finding Quality Caregivers. Get Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim

If a loved one already needs in-home care or owns a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and needs assistance filing the claim, LTC NEWS is here to help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News. You can also help find caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not.

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Get Accurate Quotes

Work With A Trusted Specialist

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man and woman sitting at desk
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More
  • Latest

  • Oldest

  • Homecare

  • Health

  • Government

  • Care Facilities

  • Pets

  • People

  • Lifestyle

  • Insurance

Step 1 of 4

Find a Specialist

Get Started Today

Trusted & Verified Specialists

Work with a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist Today

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Compare Insurers


Claim this listing

Fill out this short form

Step Number:


Request Listing Edit

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Step Number:


Are you a customer of this business, or are you an employee?