Now keeping ones blood pressure under control has an added reward. If you have high blood pressure, this may affect your cognition - the act or process of knowing; perception. Now research suggests that hypertension may affect older people’s cognitive abilities. This may suggests that stressful situations could impair their ability to think clearly.
Researchers at North Carolina State University studied 36 men and women aged 60 to 87, twice a day for 60 days. After having their blood pressure taken participants were asked to complete a number of cognitive function tests. Results showed that the performance of participants whose average systolic (the top number) blood pressure was 130 or higher dropped significantly when their blood pressure spiked. However the same deterioration of cognitive functioning was not seen in participants whose average systolic blood pressure was low or normal.
Study co-author Dr Jason Allaire said that the results revealed a link between blood pressure spikes in seniors with high blood pressure and a decrease in their inductive reasoning. "Inductive reasoning is important because it is essentially the ability to work flexibly with unfamiliar information and find solutions," said Allaire in a news release.
New Study Shows High Blood Pressure May Make it Difficult for the Elderly to Think Clearly. North Carolina State Univerity. December 15th 2008.