It’s not the type of blood pressure drug, but well controlled blood pressure that reduces the odds of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in people with hypertension, according to a recent study.

Adults with high blood pressure who took any of five commonly used classes of antihypertensive drugs had 12% lower dementia risk than did adults not using blood pressure medication. They also had a 16% lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, reported Jie Ding, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health, Baltimore. 

Ding and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of individual participant data from long-term observational studies published between 1980 and 2019. About 31,000 participants without dementia were followed for a minimum of five years.

“Over a long period of observation, no evidence was found that a specific antihypertensive medication drug class was more effective than others in lowering risk of dementia,” Ding wrote.

“These findings suggest future clinical guidelines for hypertension management should also consider the beneficial effect of [high blood pressure medication] on the risk for dementia,” Ding concluded.

The study was published in The Lancet Neurology.