WebMD (January 12, 2010): Hypertension Drugs May Cut Alzheimer's Risk

Publication Date: 
Tue, 01/12/2010

Drugs commonly used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Boston University scientists, reporting in the journal BMJ, say a class of high blood pressure drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers is associated with a striking decrease in the risk of occurrence and progression of dementia.

The researchers, using information from a U.S. Department of Health System Veterans Affairs database of more than 5 million people, examined records of more than 800,000 predominantly male patients 65 or older.

The researchers compared the patients in groups that included those using an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB): those using an ACE inhibitor called lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril); and those using other blood pressure/heart disease medicatiosn (excluding statins).

Angiotensin receptor blockers include candesartan (Atacand), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), and valsartan (Diovan).

There were no differences in average blood pressure among the three groups.