Dementia: Hypertension

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 21 September 2023.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of research trials on the link between vascular dementia and high blood pressure.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

While no specific assessment has been made, we recognise that high blood pressure is one of a number of modifiable risk factors for dementia, as identified in ‘Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission’.

The Department’s Neurology & Dementia Intelligence Team undertook an analysis of an anonymised sample primary care database in 2017, to provide an understanding of the types of comorbidities that people with a formal diagnosis of dementia lived with, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dementia-comorbidities-in-patients/dementia-comorbidities-in-patients-data-briefing

The analysis found that 44% of people with dementia were also found to have a diagnosis of hypertension, while this increased to 55% of people living with vascular dementia. A diagnosis of stroke or transient ischaemic attack is at least twice as likely in patients with vascular dementia (35%) than in all other forms of dementia.

The Government has announced that it will publish a Major Conditions Strategy covering six conditions, including dementia. The Major Conditions Strategy will set out a strong and coherent policy agenda with a shift to integrated, whole-person care, and will cover prevention, diagnosis and long-term treatment and care.

The Government spent over £413 million on dementia research from 2017/18 to 2021/22. In our 2019 manifesto we committed to double funding for dementia research. We will double funding for dementia research to £160 million per year by 2024/25. This will span all areas of research, from causes and prevention to treatment and care, delivering evidence to help prevent, diagnose and treat dementia, enabling the best possible care and quality of life for people with dementia.

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