Midlife Hypertension Risk and Cognition in the Non-Demented Oldest Old: Framingham Heart Study

Arvind Nishtala, Jayandra J. Himali, Alexa Beiser, Joanne M. Murabito, Sudha Seshadri, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Midlife cardiovascular risk, hypertension (HTN) in particular, has been related cross-sectionally to poorer neuropsychological (NP) performance in middle age and older adults. This study investigated whether a similar relationship persists between midlife HTN or systolic blood pressure (SBP) and NP performance approximately 30 years later. 378 Framingham stroke and dementia-free Original cohort participants, with HTN and SBP ascertained between 50-60 years of age (mean age 55±1, 65% women), were administered a NP assessment at age ≥ 80 years. Tests included Logical Memory, Visual Reproduction, Paired Associate, Hooper Visual Organization Test, Trail Making A & B, Digit Span Forward and Backward, Controlled Word Association Test (COWAT), and Similarities. Multivariable linear regression, adjusted for age, time interval between risk factor and NP testing, gender, and premorbid intelligence, assessed association between midlife HTN/SBP and NP outcomes. Midlife HTN was not significantly associated with NP outcome measures. Midlife SBP was associated with poorer Digit Span Forward and COWAT performance (p < 0.05). No significant interaction of age on HTN/SBP to NP associations was found. There was a significant interaction between ApoE4 status and SBP in their effects on COWAT (pinteraction = 0.074); SBP was negatively associated with COWAT only in those with the ApoE4 allele (p = 0.025). While midlife HTN is not associated with late life cognitive impairment, midlife SBP is related to late life attention and verbal fluency impairments, particularly among ApoE4+ individuals. These results offer insight into processes that are operative in the absence of overt cognitive impairment and dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Blood pressure
  • Cognition
  • Executive function
  • Hypertension
  • Memory
  • Neuropsychological assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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