Drug companies are no doubt thrilled about the new blood pressure guidelines issued this week by American Heart Association.
Overnight, the market for blood pressure medications skyrocketed.
Thanks to the new guidelines, nearly half of all American adults are now classified as having hypertension. Among people over 65, the figure is 80%.1
High blood pressure is now defined as 130/80 mm/Hg or higher. Previously it was 140/90.
The next time you see your doctor, the chances are greater than ever you’ll walk out with a prescription for a hypertension drug. And if you’re already on a blood pressure medication, you may be prescribed a higher dosage. Or an additional drug to make sure your numbers fall under the new recommendations.
But seniors, more than any other age group, should be cautious about following the new guidelines.
Why High Blood Pressure Is Good for Older Brains
A study released earlier this year found that the elderly may need higher blood pressure to stave off brain aging. Research at the University of California, Irvine showed that hypertension may be your body’s way of preventing dementia.
Scientists spent three years tracking the blood pressure and onset of dementia in 559 people in their 90s. Initially, all of them had sharp minds.
After three years, 40% began to show signs of dementia. But high blood pressure seemed to be protective. Subjects with hypertension were 42% less likely to develop dementia.
And participants whose high blood pressure began late in life were 63% less likely to develop dementia.2
You Need High Blood Pressure as You Age
Maria Corrada is a professor of neurology and epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine. She is the study’s lead author.
“We find that hypertension (in the elderly) is actually associated with reduced dementia risk,” she said. “It’s a matter of creating enough pressure to oxygenate the brain adequately.”3 4
The study was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The researchers theorize that the body increases blood pressure in older people to ensure adequate blood flow to the brain. This is because the cardiovascular system weakens with age.5
As you get older, the walls of arteries become thicker. Some blood vessels die. Your heart gets weaker. Less blood gets to your brain and other organs. Increased blood flow is a way to overcome these circulatory issues.6
But if you take blood pressure medication, you are suppressing your body’s natural defense against weaker circulation.
No matter what the new guidelines say… Lower is not always better when it comes to blood pressure.
Editor’s Note: About half of blood pressure readings are wrong. Even the American Heart Association now admits that more than half of men who die of heart disease show no symptoms. But it’s not because the symptoms weren’t there…
Doctors just couldn’t find them.
Discover the little-known test that detects heart disease quicker than the ones used in every doctor’s office across the country… And how a natural “warrior extract” can treat it without causing dangerous side effects. Get all the details HERE.