Childhood mental ability and blood pressure at midlife: linking the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 and the Midspan studies

J Hypertens. 2004 May;22(5):893-7. doi: 10.1097/00004872-200405000-00009.


Objectives: To establish the relationship between childhood mental ability and adult hypertension.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Community.

Participants: Non-clinical sample of people born in 1921 who participated in both the Scottish Mental Survey 1932 and the Midspan studies. Nine hundred and thirty-eight people were participants in both studies.

Main outcome measures: Mid-life systolic and diastolic blood pressure, intelligence quotient (IQ) at age 11 years, sex, social class, height and weight.

Results: After adjustment for age, sex, social class, body mass index, height, cholesterol level and smoking, there remained a 3.15 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 1.5 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure for each standard deviation increase in childhood IQ.

Conclusions: The association between hypertension and lower cognitive function in adulthood is partly accounted for by individual differences in childhood IQ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Scotland / epidemiology