Impact of ambulatory blood pressure variability on cerebral small vessel disease progression and cognitive decline in community-based elderly Japanese

Am J Hypertens. 2014 Oct;27(10):1257-67. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpu045. Epub 2014 Mar 20.


Background: Recent epidemiological studies reported a relationship between 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) variability and cardiovascular events. However, the impact of ABP variability on small vessel disease (SVD) progression or cognitive decline in the elderly has seldom been investigated in community-based longitudinal studies.

Methods: Subjects (n = 210) underwent ABP monitoring, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and cognitive testing at baseline and 4 years later. ABP variability was quantified by the SD, weighted SD, coefficient of variation (CV), and average real variability (ARV). ABP variability parameters were divided into 2 groups by median values.

Results: Multivariable logistic regression analyses showed that higher systolic CV, diastolic weighted SD, and diastolic CV were significant predictors of SVD progression (P = 0.02, 0.03, and 0.02, respectively). In subjects with SVD on the first MRI, higher systolic and diastolic ARV also predicted progression (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively). Higher quartiles of systolic weighted SD and CV had higher incidences of SVD progression (P trend = 0.03 and 0.03, respectively, Cochran-Armitage test), and higher quartiles of systolic ARV had higher incidences of SVD progression in subjects with SVD on the first MRI (P trend = 0.03). Higher systolic ARV was an independent predictor of cognitive decline (P < 0.01), and higher tertiles of systolic ARV had higher incidences of cognitive decline (P trend = 0.02).

Conclusions: This community-based longitudinal study found that increased ABP variability was associated with SVD progression, particularly in individuals with SVD at baseline. Higher systolic ARV predicted SVD progression and cognitive decline.

Keywords: ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; average real variability; blood pressure; blood pressure variability; cerebral small vessel disease; cognitive function; community-dwelling elderly; hypertension; lacunar infarction; white matter lesion..

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Small Vessel Diseases / complications
  • Cerebral Small Vessel Diseases / pathology*
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis