This new research was conducted after a large international study found the number of people over 30 with high blood pressure has doubled globally.
Researchers examined more than 2,000 brain scans of 686 healthy individuals aged 44 to 76. The blood pressure of the participants was measured up to four times across 12 years.
The brain scan and blood pressure data were used to determine a person’s brain age, which is a measure of brain health.
They found that compared to a person with a high blood pressure of 135/85, someone with an optimal reading of 110/70 was found to have a brain age that appears more than six months younger by the time they reach middle age.
These findings highlight a particular concern for young people aged in their 20s and 30s because it takes time for the effects of increased blood pressure to impact the brain.
It’s important to introduce lifestyle and diet changes early on in life to prevent blood pressure from rising too much, rather than waiting for it to become a problem.
Even if blood pressure levels are elevated, take the opportunity to speak with a doctor about ways to reduce your blood pressure, including the modification of lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity.