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Am J Hypertens. 2005 Aug;18(8):1052-9.

Effect of baseline cognitive function and antihypertensive treatment on cognitive and cardiovascular outcomes: Study on COgnition and Prognosis in the Elderly (SCOPE).

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Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.



We examined whether cognitive function at baseline affected cognitive and cardiovascular outcomes in the Study on COgnition and Prognosis in the Elderly (SCOPE), a blood pressure (BP)-lowering intervention trial.


SCOPE included 4937 patients, aged 70 to 89 years, with mild-to-moderate hypertension and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score > or =24. Double-blind treatment was initiated with candesartan or placebo. Open-label therapy was added as needed to control BP, both in the candesartan (49%) and control (66%) groups. Mean follow-up was 3.7 years. Low cognitive function (LCF) at baseline was defined as MMSE score 24 to 28 (N = 2070), and high cognitive function (HCF) as MMSE score 29 to 30 (N = 2867).


Mean BP reductions were approximately 20/10 mm Hg both in LCF and HCF patients, with greater reductions in the candesartan group than in the control group. The incidence of dementia was higher in LCF than in HCF patients. A higher cardiovascular event rate observed in LCF patients was explained by older age and other cardiovascular risk factors at baseline. In LCF patients, the MMSE score declined less in the candesartan than in the control group (mean difference 0.49, 95% confidence interval 0.02 to 0.97, P = .04). Nonfatal stroke was reduced in the candesartan group in the total sample (28%, P = .04), with no difference between LCF (27%) and HCF (29%) patients.


Elderly patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension and slightly impaired cognitive function (MMSE 24 to 28) are at increased risk of dementia and cardiovascular events. This analysis indicates that effective antihypertensive therapy may reduce cognitive decline and stroke incidence in these patients.

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