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Psychosom Med. 1994 Sep-Oct;56(5):449-56.

Neuropsychological performance of young men who vary in familial risk for hypertension.

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Department of Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County 21228.


Neuropsychological performance was examined as a function of parental history of hypertension. Thirty-five normotensive offspring of two hypertensive parents (PH+/+) were compared to 35 offspring of two normotensive parents (PH-/-) and 35 offspring of one hypertensive and one normotensive parent (PH+/-) on tests of abstract reasoning, attention/mental flexibility, memory, perception, psychomotor skills, and visuospatial/constructional abilities. Results indicated that PH+/+ offspring performed more poorly than PH-/- offspring on tests of visuospatial/constructional and visuoperceptual ability; PH+/- offspring tended to score lower than PH-/- offspring on these tests. These findings were independent of age, education, diastolic blood pressure levels, average alcohol consumption, trait anxiety, and depression. Results of this study may indicate subtle central nervous system involvement associated with familial risk for hypertension.

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