Hypertension in youth affects brain in old age, says study

Research conducted by the American Heart Association found that hypertension can cause damage not only to the heart, but also to the brain and cognitive function. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the problem affects more than 1.28 million people between the ages of 30 and 79.

The research found that people between the ages of 20 and 40 with high blood pressure had brain changes when they reached middle age, close to age 55, which directly influences a greater risk for cognitive decline in the elderly.

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“The results suggest that healthcare professionals consider more aggressive high blood pressure treatments for young adults in order to prevent brain changes later on,” the researchers report.

Flávio Tarasoutchi, a cardiologist at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, reported in an interview with Agência Einstein that “it was surprising to see brain changes even in the small sample of study participants. High blood pressure in young people usually has earlier consequences on kidney function, heart changes, such as overload on the heart. However, it is less evident, at this age, [ter] cognitive changes, which are usually later.

Tarasoutchi stressed that the study highlights the importance of young people under 30 years of age seeking clinical evaluation and doing physical activities, especially when there is a family history of cardiovascular disease.

Study says hypertension in youth affects brain in old age. Image: Shutterstock

The doctor also says that other cardiovascular conditions can cause changes in the brain and lead to neurodegenerative diseases, including cigarette use, obesity and lack of cholesterol control, which will gradually affect the brain.

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