Washington: Higher variability in blood pressure readings, could be related to impaired cognitive function in old age in those already at high risk of cardiovascular disease, a new study suggests.
There is increasing evidence that vascular factors contribute in development and progression of dementia.
This is of special interest as cardiovascular factors may be amendable and thus potential targets to reduce cognitive decline and the incidence of dementia.
Visit-to-visit blood pressure variability has been linked to cerebrovascular damage (relating to the brain and its blood vessels).
It has also been shown that this variability can increase the risk of stroke.
It has been suggested that higher blood pressure variability might potentially lead to cognitive impairment through changes in the brain structures.
Researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands), University College Cork (Ireland) and the Glasgow University (UK) therefore investigated the association of visit-to-visit blood pressure variability (independent of average blood pressure) with cognitive function in older subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
All data were obtained from the PROSPER study, which investigated the effect of statins in prevention of vascular events in older men and women.
The study is published on bmj.com.