Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure may not benefit cognitive functions

Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure may not benefit cognitive functions

A new study from McMaster University has shown that lowering blood pressure and cholesterol via drugs may not improve thinking and memory.

But the drugs may help improve heart health.

Previously, scientists have found that heart disease is linked to problems with thinking and memory.

However, it is unknown if managing heart disease via drugs like blood pressure and cholesterol lowering drugs could reduce cognitive problems.

In the present study, the researchers examined 1,626 people with an average age of 74 who had a moderate risk of heart disease.

Among the people, 45% had high blood pressure.

All participants took either a daily pill of candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide or a daily pill of rosuvastatin, a combination of the two, or placebo.

All of them took thinking and memory tests at the beginning of the study.

They did physical checkups every six months and then had thinking and memory tests again at the end of the study.

The team found when these older people took candesartan plus hydrochlorothiazide to lower blood pressure or rosuvastatin to lower cholesterol, the drugs did not slow or accelerate the decline in thinking and memory.

The results are different from previous findings which showed statin use is linked to cognitive impairment.

The researchers suggest that the study duration may be short (6 years) for observing the effects of the drugs.

In the future, longer studies are needed.

One study author is Jackie Bosch, Ph.D. from the Population Health Research Institute and the School of Rehabilitation Science.

The research is published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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