You are sitting or lying on your sofa. You get up (too) quickly and suddenly you feel dizzy, dizzy or even that feeling of veil in front of the eyes. If this happens to you frequently, your blood pressure may be playing tricks on you. This is called orthostatic hypotension, a drop in systolic blood pressure when going from lying down or sitting to standing. According to a new study published in the journal Neurology, this dizziness can increase your risk of developing dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
37% more risk
To carry out their study, American researchers at the University of San Francisco analyzed the health data of 2,131 people aged 73 on average for nearly twelve years. 15% of them suffered from orthostatic hypotension (systolic and diastolic). At the end of the study, nearly a quarter of the participants (22%) developed Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia.
Among people who experience drops in blood pressure, 26% have developed dementia compared to 21% among people without orthostatic hypotension. This means that the risks of dementia are about 40% higher in postural hypotensive drugs. If we take into account other risk factors such as diabetes, cerebrovascular disease or smoking, this figure rises to 37%.
Blood pressure to monitor
In view of these results, the authors of the study consider that the management of orthostatic hypotension would prevent Alzheimer’s disease. “People’s blood pressure as they go from sitting to standing should be monitored. Controlling these drops in blood pressure is a promising way to help preserve cognitive abilities,” explains Dr Laure Rouch, lead author of the study. However, further research is needed to establish a correlation between blood pressure and cognitive decline …