Blood Pressure and Hispanic/Latino Cognitive Function: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Results

J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;59(1):31-42. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170017.


Background: Hispanics/Latinos are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline and dementias. High blood pressure (BP) has been implicated in both stroke and dementias. Associations between BP and cognition among diverse Latinos are still unpublished.

Objective: We examined associations between cognition and four BP based measures among diverse Hispanics/Latinos. We hypothesized that higher BP, particularly systolic pressure, and increased arterial stiffness (i.e., pulse pressure), would be associated with lower cognitive function.

Methods: We used baseline (2008-2011) Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL; n = 9,019; ages 45-74 years) data to examine cognition in relation to BP measures.

Results: In age, sex, and education adjusted models, systolic, pulse, and mean arterial pressure were consistently negatively associated with executive function, psychomotor speed and sustained attention, verbal episodic learning and memory, speech fluency, and mental status measures. These associations were attenuated but remained statistically significant in fully adjusted models.

Conclusion: Among middle-aged and older diverse Hispanics/Latinos, we found modest but consistent associations between indicators of arterial stiffness, and compromised blood flow and lower cognitive function. Clinical management and public health interventions to raise awareness and enhance BP management beginning in midlife could reduce disparities and improve population health by reducing cognitive decline burdens.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness; Hispanic/Latino; bloodpressure; cardiovascular health; cognitive; hypertension; neurocognitive.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attention
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Executive Function
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Public Health
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sex Factors
  • Sphygmomanometers
  • Surveys and Questionnaires