Hypertension and Age-Related Cognitive Impairment: Common Risk Factors and a Role for Precision Aging

Meredith Hay, Carol Barnes, Matt Huentelman, Roberta Brinton, Lee Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Precision Aging® is a novel concept that we have recently employed to describe how the model of precision medicine can be used to understand and define the multivariate risks that drive age-related cognitive impairment (ARCI). Hypertension and cardiovascular disease are key risk factors for both brain function and cognitive aging. In this review, we will discuss the common mechanisms underlying the risk factors for both hypertension and ARCI and how the convergence of these mechanisms may be amplified in an individual to drive changes in brain health and accelerate cognitive decline. Recent Findings: Currently, our cognitive health span does not match our life span. Age-related cognitive impairment and preventing and treating ARCI will require an in-depth understanding of the interrelated risk factors, including individual genetic profiles, that affect brain health and brain aging. Hypertension and cardiovascular disease are important risk factors for ARCI. And, many of the risk factors for developing hypertension, such as diabetes, smoking, stress, viral infection, and age, are shared with the development of ARCI. We must first understand the mechanisms common to the converging risk factors in hypertension and ARCI and then design person-specific therapies to optimize individual brain health. Summary: The understanding of the convergence of shared risk factors between hypertension and ARCI is required to develop individualized interventions to optimize brain health across the life span. We will conclude with a discussion of possible steps that may be taken to decrease ARCI and optimize an individual’s cognitive life span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number80
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Cognitive aging
  • Hypertension
  • Precision aging
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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