Antihypertensive Medication May Cut Alzheimer Risk

Potassium-sparing diuretics associated with greater drop in dementing illnesses

MONDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of antihypertensive medication, especially potassium-sparing diuretics, may cut the risk of Alzheimer disease, according to a study published online March 13 in the Archives of Neurology.

Ara S. Khachaturian, Ph.D., of Khachaturian Associates in Potomac, Md., and colleagues studied the relationship between Alzheimer disease and antihypertensive medication including beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and diuretics in Cache County, Utah residents aged 65 and older.

The researchers found that use of any antihypertensive medication at baseline was associated with a lower incidence of Alzheimer disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.64). The greatest reduction in Alzheimer risk was seen with diuretics (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.57), especially potassium-sparing diuretics (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.26).

Analysis of a subsample controlling for blood pressure measurements did not substantially change the findings, the researchers report.

"We suggest these findings should prompt further epidemiologic and basic science studies into the possible neuroprotective effects of these drugs," the authors conclude.

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