CHENANGO COUNTY – February is American Heart Month, a time when we should focus on our cardiovascular health.
There is evidenced based research showing a correlation between high blood pressure and vascular dementia, among other health problems.
When high blood pressure affects an individual in mid-life, they are more likely to develop vascular dementia later in life. This can happen due to a change in blood flow to the brain. Symptoms will vary depending on the size and area of the brain impacted.
The human body has major blood vessels that are used as a vehicle to carry oxygenated blood to critical organs. These are referred to as arteries. Eating a diet high in fat and maintaining a lifestyle with minimal exercise can cause fat deposits to form and travel through the blood stream. This can cause arteries to become narrow. Narrowing can affect the arteries to the brain and interfere with oxygenation and nutrition of brain cells. This process can damage brain cells and alter their functioning.
It is ideal to monitor your blood pressure. Healthcare professionals rely on two numbers to measure blood pressure. These are called systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number). The systolic number, normally 120, measures the pressure on the arteries each time the heart beats. The diastolic number, normally 80, is the measure when the heart is at rest between beats. High blood pressure or hypertension should be monitored closely due to lack of symptoms or warning signs. Hypertension can cause an unsuspecting individual to have small “silent” strokes that occur unnoticed. These have a long-term effect on blood flow that can cause other issues later in life.
There are early steps that can be taken to prevent the risk of Vascular Dementia, linked to high blood pressure. Some of these steps include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, weight control, refraining from smoking, increased daily physical activity, and limiting alcohol consumption. Some research shows that taking certain vitamin combinations can help slow down the progression of Vascular Dementia like Vitamins B6 and B12. It is important to consult with your provider prior to starting any kind of medicine or supplement.
For more information about high blood pressure and these topics visit:
Persons with questions or requiring additional information may contact the Chenango County Health Department at (607) 337-1660.
– Information from the Chenago County Health Department