Send to

Choose Destination
Hypertension. 2019 Apr;73(4):803-811. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12305.

Greater Blood Pressure Variability Is Associated With Lower Cognitive Performance.

Author information

From the Department of Internal Medicine (T.L.Z., A.A.K., M.T.S., C.D.A.S., R.M.A.H.), Maastricht University Medical Centre, the Netherlands.
CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases (T.L.Z., A.A.K., T.T.v.S., M.T.S., C.D.A.S., R.M.A.H.), Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Faculté de Médecine, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France (T.T.v.S.).
Department of Epidemiology and Department of Arterial Mechanics, INSERM, UMR-S970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center, France (T.T.v.S.).
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Alzheimer Centre Limburg (M.P.J.v.B., F.R.J.V., S.K.), Maastricht University Medical Centre, the Netherlands.
MHeNs School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (M.P.J.v.B., F.R.J.V., S.K.), Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
Heart and Vascular Centre (M.T.S., R.M.A.H.), Maastricht University Medical Centre, the Netherlands.


An increasing number of individuals will face age-related cognitive difficulties because life expectancy has increased. It is, therefore, important to identify modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment. Very short-term to mid-term blood pressure variability (BPV) may be such a factor because it may cause cerebral ischemia. To this end, we investigated whether greater systolic and diastolic BPV are cross-sectionally associated with memory function (n=1804), information processing speed (n=1793), and executive function (n=1780) in 40- to 75-year-old individuals from The Maastricht Study. A composite BPV-index was derived by standardizing within-visit, 24-hour, and 7-day BPV. We performed linear regression with adjustments for age, sex, educational level, 24-hour systolic or diastolic pressure, and cardiovascular risk factors. We found that a 1-SD greater systolic BPV was not associated with information processing speed (β [SD difference], -0.10; 95% CI, -0.14 to 0.06), or executive function (-0.09; 95% CI, -0.20 to 0.02) but was marginally associated with lower memory function (-0.11; 95% CI, -0.21 to 0.00). A 1-SD greater diastolic BPV was associated with lower information processing speed (-0.10; 95% CI, -0.20 to -0.00) and executive function (-0.12; 95% CI, -0.22 to -0.01) and marginally associated with lower memory function (-0.09; 95% CI, -0.20 to 0.01). These effects on cognitive performance are equivalent to ≈3 additional years of aging. In conclusion, greater very short-term to mid-term diastolic and, to a lesser extent, systolic BPV may be a modifiable risk factor for cognitive deterioration in 40- to 75-year-old, community-dwelling individuals.


aging; blood pressure; executive function; memory; risk factor

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center