High blood pressure and cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Jan;61(1):67-73. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12067. Epub 2013 Jan 10.


Objectives: To determine whether high blood pressure (BP) levels are associated with faster decline in specific cognitive domains.

Design: Prospective longitudinal cohort.

Setting: Uniform Data Set of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Centers.

Participants: One thousand three hundred eighty-five participants with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and measured BP values at baseline and two annual follow-up visits.

Measurements: Neuropsychological test scores and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR Sum) score.

Results: Participants with MCI with two or three annual occasions of high BP values (systolic BP ≥140 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg) had significantly faster decline on neuropsychological measures of visuomotor sequencing, set shifting, and naming than those who were normotensive on all three occasions. High systolic BP values were associated as well with faster decline on the CDR Sum score.

Conclusion: Hypertension is associated with faster cognitive decline in persons at risk for dementia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / psychology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • United States / epidemiology