Data about the relationship of blunted reduction of night-time blood pressure (BP) with cognitive deterioration (CD) are conflicting. This study aims to explore this possible association in elderly people with long-standing hypertension.
Twenty-six hypertensive subjects consecutively admitted to a rehabilitation unit over a six-month period were recruited. Exclusion criteria concerned all clinical conditions potentially related to BP variability or leading to CD. All patients underwent a clinic and 24-h BP non-invasive monitoring assessment of BP, as well as a cognitive assessment with the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). The presence of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) was assessed on CT films, with a standardized visual rating scale.
Blunted reduction of both systolic and diastolic night-time BP were significantly associated with poorer cognitive performances (r=0.61, p=0.001 for systolic; and r=0.57, p=0.002 for diastolic, respectively). In a multiple regression model, blunted reduction of night-time BP (B=0.17, [95% confidence intervals: 1.1–1.3], p=0.008 for systolic; and B=0.15, [95% confidence intervals: 1.0–1.3], p=0.02 for diastolic) independently predicted poorer cognitive performances.
In subjects with long-standing hypertension the blunted reduction of night-time BP is independently associated with lower cognitive performances.