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Hypertension is associated with an increased risk of dementia and
depression with uncertain longitudinal associations with brain
To examine lifetime blood pressure as a predictor of brain structure in
A total of 190 participants (mean age 69.3 years) from the Whitehall II
study were screened for hypertension six times (1985–2013). In 2012–2013,
participants had a 3T-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan. Data
from the MRI were analysed using automated and visual measures of global
atrophy, hippocampal atrophy and white matter hyperintensities.
Longitudinally, higher mean arterial pressure predicted increased
automated white matter hyperintensities (P<0.002).
Cross-sectionally, hypertensive participants had increased automated
white matter hyperintensities and visually rated deep white matter
hyperintensities. There was no significant association with global or
Long-term exposure to high blood pressure predicts hyperintensities,
particularly in deep white matter. The greatest changes are seen in those
with severe forms of hypertension, suggesting a dose–response
Prospective data on the association between common mental disorders and
obesity are scarce, and the impact of ageing on this association is
To examine the association between common mental disorders and obesity
(body mass index 30 kg/m2) across the adult life course.
The participants, 6820 men and 3346 women, aged 35–55 were screened four
times during a 19-year follow-up (the Whitehall II study). Each screening
included measurements of mental disorders (the General Health
Questionnaire), weight and height.
The excess risk of obesity in the presence of mental disorders increased
with age (P = 0.004). The estimated proportion of people
who were obese was 5.7% at age 40 both in the presence and absence of
mental disorders, but the corresponding figures were 34.6% and 27.1% at
age 70. The excess risk did not vary by gender or according to ethnic
group or socioeconomic position.
The association between common mental disorders and obesity becomes
stronger at older ages.
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