Daily News

Dementia risk: The role of blood pressure patterns

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. (Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)

Antibiotics and bowel cancer: Study finds link

With the advent of antibiotic resistance, doctors are more conscious than ever before of limiting these drugs. However, the use of antibiotics continues to grow globally. From 2000–2010, consumption increased by 35% to 70 billion doses each year. A recent study looking for a link between antibiotics and cancer risk uncovers a complex relationship. The researchers conclude that there is an association between antibiotic use and an increase in colon cancer risk, but a decrease in rectal cancer risk. If antibiotics kill off a colony of "good" bacteria, it leaves a niche for "bad," or pathogenic bacteria to colonize. These pathogenic bacteria include ones that can be carcinogenic. Our aim was to investigate the associations between antibiotic use and site-specific colorectal cancer risk in the world's largest primary care database”, says the authors. Participants who subsequently developed colon cancers were more likely to be exposed to antibiotics as compared with controls (71.3% versus 69.1%). The association between antibiotic exposure and colon cancer was seen in participants with antibiotic exposure more than 10 years before bowel detection. The scientists went to great lengths to account for many factors in their analysis but were unable to eliminate every possibility. The authors conclude that "whether antibiotic exposure is causal or contributory to colon cancer risk, our results highlight the importance of judicious antibiotic use by clinicians.”

(Credits: www.medicalnewstoday.com)