Blood Pressure Variability Tied to Faster Cognitive Decline

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Blood Pressure Variability Tied to Faster Cognitive Decline
Blood Pressure Variability Tied to Faster Cognitive Decline

TUESDAY, May 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Variability in blood pressure (BP) readings may predict more rapid cognitive decline in older patients, according to research published online May 23 in Hypertension.

Bo Qin, Ph.D., of the Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Brunswick, N.J., and colleagues collected data on 976 adults aged 55 and older who took part in the China Health and Nutrition Survey over five years. BP was calculated from three or four visits to health professionals. Participants also completed cognitive testing.

The researchers found that variability in systolic BP, but not mean systolic BP, was associated with a faster decline of cognitive function. Among adults aged 55 to 64 years, but not those ≥65 years, increased visit-to-visit variability in diastolic BP was associated with a faster decline of cognitive function, independent of mean diastolic BP.

"Higher long-term variability in blood pressure readings predicted faster declines of mental function among older adults," Qin told HealthDay. "Controlling blood pressure instability may be a potential strategy in preserving mental function among older adults."

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