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High blood pressure (hypertension) doesn’t just increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. It could also dull your memory, according to research published in the journal Neurology. Scientists compared the blood pressure of more than 4,000 people in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was taken when they were in their 50s, with readings taken again in their mid-70s. Brain scans showed that those who had hypertension in middle age had less gray matter and got 10 percent lower memory scores. Those who developed hypertension at an older age were at risk for brain lesions.

You can get your blood pressure checked for free at St. Mary’s Medical Center and at the Mission YMCA (offered by the Community Health Resource Center).