High BP Visit-to-Visit Variability Linked to Dementia Risk in Late Life

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Higher blood pressure variability not associated with higher lifetime dementia risk at age 60, 70, or 80 years

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) — High visit-to-visit blood pressure (BP) variability (BPV) is associated with increased dementia risk in late life, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in JAMA Network Open.

Melina G. H. E. den Brok, M.D., from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and colleagues examined whether visit-to-visit BPV at different ages was associated with incident dementia risk in a prospective cohort study. Participants were aged 65 years or older at enrollment and underwent biennial medical assessments, including cognitive screening. The analysis included 820 participants; the mean follow-up was 32.2 years, with 27,885 person-years from midlife to death.

The researchers found that 45.4 percent of the participants developed dementia. There was no association seen for higher BPV with higher lifetime dementia risk at age 60, 70, or 80 years. BPV was associated with higher dementia risk at age 90 years (hazard ratio, 1.35). Associations of high BPV with higher dementia risk were present only at older ages in meta-regression of hazard ratios calculated separately for each age (60 to 90 years); the association of systolic BP with dementia shifted direction with older age, from incremental to inverse.

“This study was unique in assessing the associations of BPV with lifetime dementia risk at multiple ages from midlife to late life, underlining the necessity of additional long-term studies with more diverse samples to confirm the age dependency of this association, identify underlying mechanisms, and corroborate this study’s conclusion,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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