As the United States population ages, dementia incidence rises in tandem. Today, around 5 million people in the U.S. have a dementia diagnosis. Researchers are growing increasingly interested in the relationship between blood pressure and dementia. The most recent study investigates how patterns of change in blood pressure over the decades might influence risk. Studies published over the last few years have produced evidence that hypertension (high blood pressure) during midlife appears to increase the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. In other words, the impact of hypertension on the aging brain may depend on the pattern of blood pressure from midlife onward. In their analysis, the researchers controlled for several variables, including age, sex, race, level of education, tobacco smoking status, alcohol consumption, cholesterol levels, and more. They found that individuals who had hypertension in midlife that continued into later life had a higher risk of dementia than individuals who maintained normal blood pressure. A pattern of sustained hypertension from middle to late life and a pattern of midlife hypertension followed by late-life hypotension were associated with an increased risk for subsequent dementia, compared with participants who maintained normal blood pressure summarizes the researchers.