Association of visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure with cognitive function in old age: Prospective cohort study

Behnam Sabayan, Liselotte W. Wijsman, Jessica C. Foster-Dingley, David J. Stott, Ian Ford, Brendan M. Buckley, Naveed Sattar, J. Wouter Jukema, Matthias J.P. Van Osch, Jeroen Van Der Grond, Mark A. Van Buchem, Rudi G.J. Westendorp, Anton J.M. De Craen, Simon P. Mooijaart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To investigate the association between visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure and cognitive function in old age (>70 years). Design Prospective cohort study. Setting PROSPER (PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk) study, a collaboration between centres in Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands. Participants 5461 participants, mean age 75.3 years, who were at risk of cardiovascular disease. Blood pressure was measured every three months during an average of 3.2 years. Visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure was defined as the standard deviation of blood pressure measurements between visits. Main outcome measures Four domains of cognitive function, testing selective attention, processing speed, and immediate and delayed memory. In a magnetic resonance imaging substudy of 553 participants, structural brain volumes, cerebral microbleeds, infarcts, and white matter hyperintensities were measured. Results Participants with higher visit-to-visit variability in systolic blood pressure had worse performance on all cognitive tests: attention (mean difference high versus low thirds) 3.08 seconds (95% confidence interval 0.85 to 5.31), processing speed ?1.16 digits coded (95% confidence interval ?1.69 to ?0.63), immediate memory ?0.27 pictures remembered (95% confidence interval ?0.41 to ?0.13), and delayed memory ?0.30 pictures remembered (95% confidence interval ?0.49 to ?0.11). Furthermore, higher variability in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was associated with lower hippocampal volume and cortical infarcts, and higher variability in diastolic blood pressure was associated with cerebral microbleeds (all P<0.05). All associations were adjusted for average blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors. Conclusion Higher visit-to-visit variability in blood pressure independent of average blood pressure was associated with impaired cognitive function in old age.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberf4600
JournalThe BMJ
Volume347
Issue number7919
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

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