You're in your doctor's office, and the nurse checks your blood pressure as a matter of course. But your numbers are high, and the doctor steps in with some advice, and possibly a prescription for medications that can lower it.
Several years ago, researchers published in JAMA a promising discovery: intensively lowering blood pressure appeared to reduce the risk for cognitive decline in people 50 and older with high blood pressure. But questions remained about whether the strategy was safe or effective in people whose diastolic blood pressure – the bottom number in a blood pressure reading – was low. Some data suggested intensive control might raise the risk for dementia in this group.