Sex and Age Differences in the Association of Blood Pressure and Hypertension with Cognitive Function in the Elderly: The Rancho Bernardo Study.

Published on Jan 1, 2017
· DOI :10.14283/JPAD.2017.6
Donna Kritz-Silverstein55
Estimated H-index: 55
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego),
G A Laughlin4
Estimated H-index: 4
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego)
+ 1 AuthorsE. Barrett-Connor35
Estimated H-index: 35
This study examines sex and age differences in associations of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), pulse pressure and hypertension with cognitive function in a community-dwelling population.Cross-sectional study.Research clinic visit in 1988-91.Participants were 693 men and 1022 women aged 50-97 Measurements: Blood pressure was measured and 12 cognitive function tests were administered.Average age was 73.8±9.9 in men and 73.2±9.3 in women; 62.6% of men and 63.4% of women were hypertensive (SBP≥140 mmHg, DBP≥90 mmHg, or antihypertensive medication use). Each 5-unit increment in SBP, DBP, or pulse pressure and categorical hypertension was associated with significantly increased odds of poor verbal fluency performance in men and poor Trails B performance in women, with strongest associations for hypertension (OR=1.97, CI:1.01,3.85 in men; OR=1.51, CI:1.01,2.26 in women). After age stratification, associations remained statistically significant in younger (<80 years ) but not older (≥80 years) participants.Blood pressure as a continuous or categorical variable was associated with poor performance on cognitive function tests, but domains varied by sex and associations were found only in those younger than 80 years. The absent associations in those aged 80 years and older could support the hypothesis that increased blood flow is required to maintain cerebral perfusion with advancing age, or could reflect a survivor effect.
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