Background: Ethnic differences in cognitive decline have been reported. Whether they can be explained by differences in systolic blood pressure (SBP) is uncertain.
Objective: Determine whether cumulative mean SBP levels explain differences in cognitive decline between Hispanic and White individuals.
Methods: Pooled cohort study of individual participant data from six cohorts (1971-2017). The present study reports results on SBP and cognition among Hispanic and White individuals. Outcomes were changes in global cognition (GC) (primary), executive function (EF) (secondary), and memory standardized as t-scores (mean [SD], 50 ); a 1-point difference represents a 0.1 SD difference in cognition. Median follow-up was 7.7 (Q1-Q3, 5.2-20.1) years.
Results: We included 24,570 participants free of stroke and dementia: 2,475 Hispanic individuals (median age, cumulative mean SBP at first cognitive assessment, 67 years, 132.5 mmHg; 40.8% men) and 22,095 White individuals (60 years,134 mmHg; 47.3% men). Hispanic individuals had slower declines in GC, EF, and memory than White individuals when all six cohorts were examined. Two cohorts recruited Hispanic individuals by design. In a sensitivity analysis, Hispanic individuals in these cohorts had faster decline in GC, similar decline in EF, and slower decline in memory than White individuals. Higher time-varying cumulative mean SBP was associated with faster declines in GC, EF, and memory in all analyses. After adjusting for time-varying cumulative mean SBP, differences in cognitive slopes between Hispanic and White individuals did not change.
Conclusion: We found no evidence that cumulative mean SBP differences explained differences in cognitive decline between Hispanic and White individuals.
Keywords: Blood pressure; Hispanic Americans; cognition; dementia; ethnic groups.