New research shows why anyone with high blood pressure — nearly half of U.S. adults — should seek to lower it. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can accelerate the decline in brain function, including memory, concentration and verbal skills, scientists report today in the journal Hypertension.

The cognitive decline occurs whether the hypertension starts early in life or much later.

“Effectively treating high blood pressure at any age in adulthood could reduce or prevent this acceleration,” says study author Sandhi Barreto, MD, professor of medicine at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil. “Collectively, the findings suggest hypertension needs to be prevented, diagnosed and effectively treated in adults of any age to preserve cognitive function.”

The findings add to evidence in a feature article I wrote last year defining hypertension and revealing the rising problem:

Explainer of things, independent health and science journalist, author, former editor-in-chief of LiveScience and Space dot com.

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