Background Among persons with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) it is not known whether the presence of hypertension could have a detrimental effect on learning ability and whether repeated exposure to information changes the amount of information retained. The aim of this study was to determine cross-sectional evidence for a differential burden to cognitive functioning among persons with T2DM and comorbid hypertension (HTN).Methods This study performed a cross-sectional, retrospective analysis, by medical chart review, of patients with a diagnosis of T2DM.Results Medical records information for history of HTN, age, gender and cognitive performance scores were recorded and analysed for 112 T2DM patients, with an average age of 60 years (SD = 13.84). Differences in cognitive performance scores were compared between patients with and without a history of HTN. The results show that participants who were diagnosed with hypertension produced lower average Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test scores than individuals who are not diagnosed with hypertension. Trial 2 was the only trial to prove significant with a P-value of 0.041.Conclusions Our results support previous studies showing that HTN is associated with increased risk to learning and memory functioning, although the degree of interference with these cognitive functions could not be determined from our research. Recognising that people diagnosed with HTN may be at risk for poorer learning and memory skills, future research can investigate how the length of time with the diseases affects learning and memory, and how medication management can attenuate cognitive learning and memory performance.
Keywords: cognitive function; hypertension; learning; memory; type 2 diabetes.
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