A recently published study reports that women who develop high blood pressure in their 40s could be at a higher risk for developing dementia later in life. That increased risk could run as high as 73%, the researchers reported, but the same did not hold true for men.

However, given that high blood pressure can be controlled with medication and lifestyle changes, Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, sees this as an opportunity. “These modifiable risk factors are the most powerful weapons we have in our arsenal to fight dementia,” he said. “It’s a target that is addressable.”

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Gilsanz P, Mayeda ER, Glymour MM, et al. Female sex, early-onset hypertension, and risk of dementia [published online October 4, 2017]. Neurology. doi: 10.​1212/​WNL.​0000000000004602