Hypertension is a chronic or long-term condition characterized by heightened blood pressure. Although a specific cause has yet to be identified, it is often noted to accompany underlying conditions, such as obesity and chronic kidney disease, and the use of certain medications, such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and hormonal birth control drugs, among others.
Certain habits, such as drinking too much alcohol, smoking, and using illegal drugs can raise one's blood pressure. The lack of physical activity is also a known risk factor.
Hypertension increases the pressure on the artery walls. In the long run, the condition can lead to heart attacks because of atherosclerosis, aneurysms, kidney failure, and stroke, to name a few. Sufferers are also known to be at a higher risk for dementia, a set of neurodegenerative disorders that include Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers wanted to know if TCM could help mitigate this risk. Their study used data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). The study included 142,382 patients aged 20 to 90 years who received treatment between 1998 and 2007. At the time of their inclusion, the participants needed to have been newly diagnosed with hypertension.
Among the individuals in the study, 36.52 percent (52,365 people) received TCM after the onset of their hypertension (TCM users). The remaining 63.48 percent (91,107 people) acted as the control group (non-TCM users).
The researchers followed up on the participants until the end of 2012. Researchers found that among TCM users, 3,933 individuals (8.41 percent) developed dementia. Among the members of the control group, 10,316 people (11.5 percent) developed the condition.
Moreover, the effect was observed in those who were treated with TCM for longer than 180 days. Among the most commonly used TCM products used in treatment, Tian-Ma-Gou-Teng-Yin, Dan-Shen (Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae), Chuan-Niu-Xi (Radix Cyathulae), Ge-Gen (Radix Puerariae), Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San, and Jue-Ming-Zi (Semen Cassiae) were associated with lower risks of dementia.
This led the researchers to conclude that certain TCM interventions can help reduce the risk of dementia and may be used as a preventive strategy, especially for hypertensive individuals.
Like many other chronic conditions, proper diet helps in managing hypertension. The best foods to include in a hypertensive person's diet include:
Find out how you can take care of your heart at Heart.news.