Blood pressure data from 378 participants in the Framingham Heart Study has revealed that those who had high systolic blood pressure when they were 50-60 years old scored worse on a working memory test 30 years later. However, an association with verbal fluency was only significant for those with the 'Alzheimer's' APOe4 gene.
The finding adds to increasing evidence that managing health conditions such as cardiovascular health, diabetes, and hypertension, in midlife is important for cognitive health in old age, but tempers the message by suggesting that effects may be quite specific, with some applying mainly to those who are genetically vulnerable.
Nishtala A, Himali JJ, Beiser A, Murabito JM, Seshadri S, Wolf PA, Au R (2015) Midlife Hypertension Risk and Cognition in the Non-Demented Oldest Old: Framingham Heart Study. J Alzheimers Dis 47, 197-204.