Better cognitive and physical performance is associated with higher blood pressure in centenarians

J Nutr Health Aging. 2011 Aug;15(8):618-22. doi: 10.1007/s12603-011-0334-8.


Objectives: Knowledge of rational, evidence based health care in the hundred-year-old is still poor. The aim of the study was to evaluate health and functional state in hundred-year-old inhabitants of Upper Silesia, Poland, with a focus on the heart and vascular function.

Participants: Medical and nursing assessment at places of residence was performed in thirty five 100.7±1.4 (mean±SD) year-old subjects, 28 women, and 7 men.

Measurements: The protocol included Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Barthel Index (BI) and laboratory tests. A telephone follow-up was performed 180 days after the initial examination.

Results: Most subjects had increased systolic blood pressure (BP), diminished albumin and folate serum levels as well as decreased Glomerular Filtration Rate. According to the quadratic polynomial regression model MMSE and BI were dependent on BP. Higher BP was associated with better performance and survival. Those who survived more than 180 days had lower levels of CRP and VCAM-1 and higher level of sCD40L.

Conclusion: The relationships between functional scales, survival and blood pressure suggest a beneficial effect of elevated BP on both mental and physical performance in centenarians. Further studies should determine an optimal balance between risk and benefits of elevated blood pressure in the oldest old people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • CD40 Ligand / blood
  • Cognition Disorders / blood*
  • Cognition*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / psychology
  • Hypotension / blood
  • Hypotension / psychology
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mortality
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood


  • Serum Albumin
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • CD40 Ligand
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Folic Acid