A new study has found that a common medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease may increase the risk of dementia. The study, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, found that people who took the medication losartan were more likely to develop dementia than those who did not take the medication.
Losartan is a type of angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). ARBs work by blocking the action of angiotensin II, a hormone that narrows blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Losartan is one of the most commonly prescribed ARBs in the world.
The study looked at data from over 110,000 people who were taking losartan or a placebo for high blood pressure or heart disease. The researchers found that people who took losartan for at least two years were 1.4 times more likely to develop dementia than those who took a placebo.
The researchers are not sure why losartan may increase the risk of dementia. However, they believe that it may be due to the way that losartan affects the brain. Losartan has been shown to reduce blood flow to the brain, and this could lead to damage to brain cells.
The study’s findings are important because they suggest that people who take losartan may be at an increased risk of dementia. If you are taking losartan, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the medication.
The study’s limitations
The study has a number of limitations. First, it was observational, which means that it cannot prove that losartan causes dementia. Second, the study was conducted in the United States, and it is not clear whether the findings would apply to people in other countries. Third, the study only looked at people who took losartan for at least two years, and it is not clear whether the risk of dementia is the same for people who take losartan for shorter periods of time.
More research is needed to confirm the findings of this study and to determine the mechanism by which losartan may increase the risk of dementia. Future studies should also look at the risk of dementia in people who take other ARBs.
In the meantime, people who are taking losartan should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of the medication. If you are concerned about your risk of dementia, you should also talk to your doctor about other ways to reduce your risk, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking.