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High Blood Pressure at Night Increases Alzheimer’s Risk

Monday, 3 July 2023 | 9:18 AM EST

  • microgenhealth


We all know that blood pressure usually varies over 24 hours for every individual. Typically, it is lower at night than during the day. What if the blood pressure goes higher at night? This article highlights the dangers of high blood pressure at night. So, keep reading!

What is the effect of hypertension?

Hypertension (high blood pressure) occurs when the blood pushes too hard against the walls of your blood vessels. As a result, there will be a buildup in the body’s arteries, known as atherosclerosis, leading to a variety of health issues such as heart attacks and strokes. However, high blood pressure can also cause less well-known conditions, like vision loss and sexual dysfunction.

Is there any research on the effect of high blood pressure at night?

Yes. According to the findings of a study that was carried out in 2021 at Uppsala University in Sweden, individuals whose blood pressure is typically higher in the evenings than it is during the day may be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Men with high blood pressure at night were 1.64 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than men with lower blood pressure in the evening.

This study included nearly 1,000 older Swedish men who were followed for up to 24 years, beginning in their early 70s. At the beginning of the study, none of them had Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia.

The brain can relax or even reset during the night, which is a crucial time for brain health. High blood pressure at night may make it harder for the brain to eliminate waste products while you sleep. The development of Alzheimer’s disease may be facilitated by the accumulation of these waste products in the brain.

What is reverse dipping? How does it become risky?

Although blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, nighttime is typically when it is at its lowest. This drop in circulatory strain around evening time is called “plunging.” However, a phenomenon known as “reverse dipping” occurs when this pattern is reversed and the nighttime blood pressure is higher than the daytime blood pressure.

Additionally, nighttime high blood pressure has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease events such as heart attack and stroke, hospitalization for heart failure, and cognitive dysfunction. It also happens when you have sleep apnea, which causes your breathing to stop for a short time during the night. 

Even though the study only looked at older men, older women may also be affected. According to numerous studies, men and women do not significantly differ in their prevalence of “reverse dipping.”

Does lowering the blood pressure level work?

A normal blood pressure level may reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment, a brain condition that frequently progresses to full-blown Alzheimer’s and causes memory and thinking issues.

Men and women who take medications to control their blood pressure may also be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to studies. It is essential to continue taking blood pressure medications if they have been prescribed to you in order to maintain healthy blood pressure and overall health.

Researchers suggest that the next step would be to see if taking blood pressure medications at night rather than in the morning could help lower high nighttime blood pressure readings.

2019 study found that a person’s risk of dementia and other brain dysfunction can be decreased by lowering their blood pressure. When compared to people who do not take medication to treat their high blood pressure, those who do experience less cognitive decline.

Wrapping Up

If you’re concerned about high blood pressure or whether reverse dipping might be a risk for you or your loved ones, make sure to keep the blood pressure level in check. You can also connect with Microgen Health to determine the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. At MicroGen Health, we work hard to provide only test results that are supported by evidence, and we do this by employing skilled professionals and the most up-to-date technology.

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