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Keywords:

  • cerebrovascular disease;
  • dementia;
  • hypertension;
  • mild cognitive impairment;
  • neuropsychology

Objectives

To determine whether high blood pressure (BP) levels are associated with faster decline in specific cognitive domains.

Design

Prospective longitudinal cohort.

Setting

Uniform Data Set of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Centers.

Participants

One thousand three hundred eighty-five participants with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and measured BP values at baseline and two annual follow-up visits.

Measurements

Neuropsychological test scores and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR Sum) score.

Results

Participants with MCI with two or three annual occasions of high BP values (systolic BP ≥140 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg) had significantly faster decline on neuropsychological measures of visuomotor sequencing, set shifting, and naming than those who were normotensive on all three occasions. High systolic BP values were associated as well with faster decline on the CDR Sum score.

Conclusion

Hypertension is associated with faster cognitive decline in persons at risk for dementia.