We investigated the association of hypertensive encephalopathy (HE) with subsequent dementia.
Using universal insurance claims data, we identified a study cohort of 5,504 participants with HE newly diagnosed between 1997 and 2010 and a comparison cohort of 22,016 healthy participants. Incidence and risks of dementia were estimated for both cohorts until the end of 2010.
The dementia incidence was 1.45-fold [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.27-1.66] higher in the study cohort than in the comparison cohort, with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.38 (95% CI = 1.19-1.59) for the study cohort. The risk was higher for males than for females and elderly patients. With an incidence of 13.4 per 1,000 person-years, the HR of dementia increased to 2.09 (95% CI = 1.18-3.71) for the HE patients with the comorbidities of head injury and diabetes compared to those without HE and comorbidities. The risk of developing dementia declined with the follow-up time.
Hypertensive patients with HE displayed a significantly higher risk for dementia than those without HE. The risk increased further in those with the comorbidities of head injury and diabetes. Physicians should be aware of the link between HE and dementia when assessing patients with HE.