Cerebral perfusion in the elderly with nocturnal blood pressure fall

Eur J Neurol. 2007 Jul;14(7):715-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2007.01805.x.


Cerebrovascular disease may be linked with vascular autoregulation in aging. The aim of this study was to examine relation between nocturnal blood pressure (BP) fall and cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes in elderly men. The prospective 'Men born in 1914' cohort study has been in progress since 1968 and included 809 subjects. After 14 years from the last follow up, 97 subjects reached the age of 82 and underwent CBF measurement and 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Diastolic BP at night decreased in 84 subjects with median 12.7% and increased in 13 subjects with median 3.7%. Relative diastolic BP fall at night was negatively associated to CBF in temporal and infero-parietal areas. Higher proportion of subjects with increasing systolic BP during the 14-year period was observed in the subgroup with extreme nocturnal diastolic BP dip, irrespectively of BP values or prevalence of hypertension. Extreme nocturnal diastolic BP fall in a cohort of elderly men is correlated with focal changes in CBF. Further studies could explain if increasing BP in the elderly is a cause or result of pathological autoregulation, and if antihypertensive treatment increases nocturnal BP dip.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antihypertensive Agents / adverse effects
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology*
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation* / drug effects
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diastole
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Systole


  • Antihypertensive Agents