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Blood pressure and mental function

Spikes in blood pressure levels of elderly people with hypertension, can affect their ability to think clearly, according to U.S. research.

In fact, the higher the blood pressure levels, the worse clear thinking became.

The mental function study

Researchers at North Carolina State University studied 36 women and men aged 60 to 87 years.

The participants measured their blood pressure and completed mental function tests each morning and night for 60 days.

The researchers found that as an individual’s blood pressure went up, his or her mental test performance went down. The negative effect of high blood pressure only appeared when a person’s systolic blood pressure spiked to 130 or higher.

The main task affected by high blood pressure was inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning allows you to make generalizations. The test asked participants to identify a pattern in a series of letters and to predict the next letter in the series.

Researchers comments

Lead researcher Prof Allaire reported, “If you have blood pressure that wildly fluctuates and you have high blood pressure, you might be in double trouble for poorer cognitive functioning.”

He also indicated that some elderly people may have trouble thinking clearly in stressful situations that cause their blood pressure to spike.

Related articles

Hypertension can speed up death for Alzheimer’s patients.

Exercise is good for your memory as well as your health.

Reduce high blood pressure to reduce your risk of dementia.


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Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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