Young male caregiver with face mask measuring blood pressure to senior woman indoors at home during home visit.

When people maintained optimal blood pressure levels over a certain amount of time, they had a lower risk for frailty, according to a new study. There also was a link between lower-than-optimal blood pressure and increaing it to optimal levels over the study period and a lower risk for death, the April 10 study in Hypertension Research also showed. 

Researchers looked at the changes in blood pressure patterns and measured it against frailty and mortality in 7,335 people from 2008 to 2014. The investigators examined separate three-year intervals based on data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS). A 40-item frailty index was used to gauge the risk of frailty.

The average age of people involved was 82.6. The researchers defined the optimal systolic blood pressure as between 130 and 150 mmHg and average diastolic blood pressure as between 70 to 90 mmHg.

People who had optimal levels had the lowest risk for frailty, while decreasing both types of blood pressure levels during follow-up was correlated with frailty. Participants whose blood pressure levels were below optimal levels at baseline yet increased to optimal levels at the follow-up also had a lower risk for death compared to those who kept a steady less-than-optimal blood pressure.

And when people with optimal blood pressure saw levels go down during the course of the study they had a higher death risk compared to keeping it stable during that time period.The news comes after an April 2 study in Hypertension Research found that high blood pressure can also raise the risk for dementia in middle-aged people. Data came from 1,279 people ages 21 to 95 in Argentina with high blood pressure. Investigators came up with a dementia risk score that took into account cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings, age, obesity, physical activity, and education. Of the participants, 28% who were between 47 and 53 had an increased risk of dementia.