The relationship between temporal changes in blood pressure and changes in cognitive function: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Suzana Alves de Moraes, Moyses Szklo, David Knopman, Reiko Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Although previous epidemiological studies have reported that hypertension is a major risk factor for decline in brain perfusion and atrophy, which are known to be related to cognitive decline, the impact of temporal changes in blood pressure on age-related cognitive declines has not been assessed. Methods. The present study evaluates changes in blood pressure and cognitive decline over a 6-year period in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. This report is based on 8,058 men and women aged 48-67 years examined in the second (1990-92), and fourth (1996-98) ARIC cohort visits. Changes between these visits were measured in hypertension status and three cognitive function tests: Delayed Word Recall (DWR), the Digit Simbol Subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (DSS/WAIS-R), and the Word Fluency (WF). Adjusted mean differences in cognitive function were compared among five categories of hypertension status by using linear regression modeling. Results. In the present study, older subjects with uncontrolled hypertension had a significantly larger mean DSS/WAIS-R score decline than normotensive subjects. Although other cognitive declines did not achieve statistical significance, both cross-sectional and change analysis suggested that partially controlled or uncontrolled hypertension is associated with a less favorable cognitive profile, particularly when considering results of the DSS and the WF tests. Conclusions. The present study results provide some support to the hypothesis that hypertension status changes over 6 years in individuals initially aged 48-67 years are related to cognitive changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Cohort studies
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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