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Blood Press Monit. 2008 Oct;13(5):269-75. doi: 10.1097/MBP.0b013e32830d4be6.

Low ambulatory blood pressure is associated with lower cognitive function in healthy elderly men.

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Department of Health Sciences, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Lund University, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.



Low blood pressure (BP) has been found to be associated with cerebrovascular damage in the elderly. Studies of the relation of ambulatory BP to cognitive function in elderly persons aged 80 years or above is lacking, however.


Ninety-seven 81-year-old men from the population study 'Men born in 1914' underwent ambulatory BP monitoring and were given a cognitive test battery, 79 subjects completing all six tests. Low ambulatory systolic blood pressure (SBP) was defined as <130 mmHg and low ambulatory diastolic blood pressure (DBP) as <80 mmHg (corresponding in terms of office BP to approximately <140 and <90 mmHg, respectively). Odds ratios (OR) for lower cognitive function were calculated using a forward stepwise logistic regression model, controlling for confounding factors.


Subjects with ambulatory SBP <130 mmHg had higher OR values for daytime (OR 2.6; P=0.037), nighttime (OR 3.6; P=0.032) and 24h (OR 2.6; P=0.038) BP measurements. A lower cognitive function was associated with lower nighttime SBP and DBP levels and lower 24-h mean SBP compared to subjects with higher cognitive function. OR values connected to low nocturnal SBP, had a tendency to be particularly high among subjects on anti-hypertensive drugs (OR 9.1; P=0.067, n.s.).


Ambulatory SBP levels <130 mmHg and lower nighttime SBP and DBP were associated with lower cognitive function in healthy elderly men. Further investigation is needed to ascertain the effects of the presently recommended treatment goal of <140 mmHg for office SBP also on elderly over 80 years of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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