Your heart health and brain performance have close link with each other.
According to statistics, one in every three adults in the US suffer from hypertension, i.e. high blood pressure.
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This issue increases risks for serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions like stroke and heart attack.
Moreover, it was found that living with elevated blood pressure may boost hazards of getting cognitive problems.
Even though your brain is only 2% of your body weight, it takes about 20% of overall blood supply that helps nerve cells get enough oxygen, glucose and other nutritive elements.
Unmanaged high blood pressure can significantly damage the vessels, reducing blood flow to all organs, including the brain. With time, this problem may lead to destruction of brain cells and changes in cognitive function.
This fact was proved by numerous studies from different parts of the world.
One of the most significant researches, Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive study, watched at health and mental performance of approximately 13500 American men and women from 45 to 64 years old during twenty years. Among them, nearly 24% were African Americans, while the majority of participants (76%) were white.
During 1990-1992 all the members were asked to take part in cognitive tests, which measured short-term memory, learning skills and processing speed.
The same tests for the same individuals have been performed six years later and then in 2011-2013.
Medical experts contacted with participants annually, measured their blood pressure and got information about all taken medications (particularly antihypertensive pills).
Results showed that mental dysfunction was 6.5% higher in those, who had hypertension. But this was mainly about people, who developed this health condition in the middle age.
Getting high blood pressure in the later 60s, 70s or 80s wasn't associated with significant changes in brain activity.
It's very important to treat your chronic diseases and take all medications with accordance to doctor's prescription.
During this long-term study, specialists found that people, who controlled their blood pressure and took medicines, had less memory and reasoning difficulties than those without appropriate treatment.
Even though, the ARIC study had observational character and couldn't prove that hypertension is a culprit of cognitive decline, its strength is in its duration and quantity of members.
All medical professionals agree that preventing high blood pressure is much better than treating it with pills.
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Add more heart-friendly foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, omega-3s), stay physically active, shed extra pounds if you're overweight, quit smoking and go easy on alcohol. These simple tips will help you improve your well-being and prevent large amount of diseases.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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