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Intern Med J. 2012 Jul;42(7):808-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02645.x.

Arterial stiffness as a cause of cognitive decline and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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1
Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. matthewpase@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although arterial stiffness has recently been confirmed as a predictor of cardiovascular disease, the association between arterial stiffness and cognitive decline is less clear.

AIM:

We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the evidence for large artery stiffness as a cause of cognitive decline and dementia.

METHOD:

Electronic databases were systematically searched until September 2011 for studies reporting on the longitudinal relationship between any validated measure of large artery stiffness and cognitive decline or dementia. Meta-analysis was performed on four studies investigating the association between aortic pulse wave velocity and a decline in Mini-Mental State Examination scores.

RESULTS:

Six relevant longitudinal studies were located, conducted over an average of 5 years follow up. Arterial stiffness was predictive of cognitive decline in five/six studies. In meta-analysis, higher aortic stiffness predicted lower Mini-Mental State Examination scores within the sample (β=-0.03, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.06 to 0.01, n= 3947), although studies were not all homogeneous, and statistical heterogeneity was present (I(2) = 71.9%, P= 0.01). Removal of one study with a relatively younger cohort and lower median aortic stiffness found higher aortic stiffness to significantly predict cognitive decline (β=-0.04, 95% CI: -0.07 to -0.01, n= 3687) without evidence of heterogeneity (I(2) = 9.5%, P= 0.33). There was little research investigating the effects of aortic stiffness on the development of dementia.

CONCLUSION:

Aortic stiffness was found to predict cognitive decline in both qualitative review and quantitative analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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