High blood pressure might impair thinking

September 4, 2009 A new study finds people in their mid-40s and older with high diastolic blood pressure -- the bottom number of a blood pressure reading -- were more likely to have memory problems than those with normal readings.

The study, reported in the journal Neurology, involved nearly 20,000 people age 45 and older who had never had a stroke or mini-stroke. Eight percent of them had cognitive problems and nearly half of them were taking medication for high blood pressure.

For every 10-point increase in the diastolic blood pressure reading, the likelihood of cognitive problems increased 7 percent.

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