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Pulse Wave Velocity and Cognitive Function in Older Adults

Zhong, Wenjun PhD; Cruickshanks, Karen J. PhD; Schubert, Carla R. MS; Carlsson, Cynthia M. MD, MS; Chappell, Richard J. PhD; Klein, Barbara E. K. MD, PhD; Klein, Ronald MD, PhD; Acher, Charles W. MD

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e3182949f06
Original Articles
Abstract

Arterial stiffness may be associated with cognitive function. In this study, pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured from the carotid to femoral (CF-PWV) and from the carotid to radial (CR-PWV) with the Complior SP System. Cognitive function was measured by 6 tests of executive function, psychomotor speed, memory, and language fluency. A total of 1433 participants were included (mean age 75 y, 43% men). Adjusting for age, sex, education, pulse rate, hemoglobin A1C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, hypertension, cardiovascular disease history, smoking, drinking, and depression symptoms, a CF-PWV>12 m/s was associated with a lower Mini-Mental State Examination score (coefficient: −0.31, SE: 0.11, P=0.005), fewer words recalled on Auditory Verbal Learning Test (coefficient: −1.10, SE: 0.43, P=0.01), and lower score on the composite cognition score (coefficient: −0.10, SE: 0.05, P=0.04) and marginally significantly associated with longer time to complete Trail Making Test-part B (coefficient: 6.30, SE: 3.41, P=0.06), CF-PWV was not associated with Trail Making Test-part A, Digit Symbol Substation Test, or Verbal Fluency Test. No associations were found between CR-PWV and cognitive performance measures. Higher large artery stiffness was associated with worse cognitive function, and longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these associations.

Author Information

Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI

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Supported by National Institute on Aging Grant AG11099 (K.J.C.), National Eye Institute grant EY06594 (B.E.K.K., R.K.), and EY13279 (K.J.C.). This study was approved by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Sciences Institutional Review Board, and all participants provided written informed consent.

W.Z.: drafting and revising the manuscript, study design, and analysis, interpretation of data; K.J.C.: obtaining funding, study supervision, acquisition of data, study design, and revising the manuscript; C.R.S., C.M.C., R.J.C., B.E.K.K., R.K., and C.W.A.: obtaining funding, contribution of vital tools, study design, acquisition of data, and revising the manuscript.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Wenjun Zhong, PhD, Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1036 WARF, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI 53726 (e-mail: zhongwenjun80@gmail.com).

Received August 7, 2012

Accepted January 19, 2013

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.