HealthDay News — For older adults antihypertensive medications are associated with a decreased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia, according to research published in the Sept. 3 issue of Neurology.

Sevil Yasar, MD, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of longitudinal data from adults aged 75 years or older who participated in the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study, with normal cognition (1,928 participants) or mild cognitive impairment (320 participants) over a median 6.1-year period.

Patients reported taking diuretics (15.6%), angiotensin-1 receptor blockers (ARB; 6.1 %), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I; 15.1%), calcium channel blockers (14.8%), and β-blockers (20.5%). Overall, 13% developed AD dementia.

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Among participants with normal cognition taking antihypertensive medications, the hazard ratios for developing incident AD dementia were as follows:

  • Diuretics — HR 0.51, 95% CI: 0.31–0.82
  • ARB — HR 0.31, 95% CI: 0.14–0.68
  • ACE-I — HR 0.50, 95% CI: 0.29–0.83
  • Calcium channel blockers — HR 0.62, 95% CI: 0.35–1.09
  • β-blockers — HR 0.58, 95% CI: 0.36–0.93

There was no significant alteration in the risk when mean systolic BP was greater than 140 mm Hg. Only diuretic use was associated with decreased risk among participants with mild cognitive impairment (HR, 0.38; 95% CI: 0.20–0.73).

“This additional evidence could help the clinician choosing an antihypertensive medication based not only on blood pressure control, but also on additional benefits,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Yasar S et al. Neurology. 2013; 81(10):896-903.