Researchers do not have enough information to conclude if a patient’s age at the time of being diagnosed with high blood pressure is linked to dementia and brain volume. The UK Biobank with baseline data gathered from 2006 to 2010 was the basis of a researchers’ investigation. Between 2014 and 2019, the measurement of the brain was conducted using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. Up till 2021, mortality, hospital inpatient, and self-reported data were used to determine dementia. For every hypertensive participant stratified by high blood pressure diagnosis age, the researchers used a propensity score to choose a control participant. Overall, in this cohort, there were 11,399 individuals with high blood pressure and 11,399 controls for brain volume. There were 124,053 individuals with high blood pressure and 124,053 controls for analyzing dementia.

In a multivariable analysis, individuals with high blood pressure, who were less than 35 years old (β (95% CI, −10.83 [−19.27 to −2.39] mL), had smaller total brain volume relative to their corresponding controls. The same results were found for individuals in the age group of 35-4 (−6.82 [−12.18 to −1.46] mL) and 45-54 (−3.77 [−6.91 to −0.64] mL).

The researchers found a link between smaller volumes of gray matter, peripheral cortical gray matter, and white matter with the diagnosis of hypertension in early and mid-life. 4,626 cases of incident all-cause dementia were recorded over a median follow-up of 11.9 years. Individuals in the second age group, i.e. 35-44, were at a greater risk for developing all-cause dementia relative to their corresponding controls after covariates were adjusted (hazard ratio [95% CI]: 1.61 [1.31–1.99]). Therefore, high blood pressure diagnosed in early or mid-life is linked with smaller brain volumes and a  heightened risk for developing dementia. But, late-life diagnosis is not associated with it.