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High blood pressure was associated with cognitive function in middle-age in the Whitehall II study.

Abstract : Research shows elevated levels of blood pressure in midlife to be linked to impaired cognitive performance in old age. However, it remains unclear if this association extends to younger age groups. The objective of this study was to examine the association between hypertension and a range of cognitive abilities in middle aged men and women. Data are from the Whitehall II study. Measures of blood pressure were obtained at baseline (1985-1988) and two subsequent phases of data collection (1991-1994 and 1997-1999). Cognitive function (memory test, AH 4-I, Mill-Hill, phonemic and semantic fluency) was assessed (1997-1999) when participants (N = 5,838) were aged 46-68 years old. Results show a small inverse association between both diastolic and systolic blood pressure and cognitive performance, independent of age, education, employment grade, smoking status, alcohol consumption, use of antihypertensive medication, diagnoses of diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Similar associations were seen with prospective and cross-sectional analyses. The effect of hypertension was stronger in women, and stronger for cognitive measures assessing executive function. Expanding on previous studies on older participants, the present study reports a small, but significant association between hypertension and poor cognitive performance in middle-aged men and women.
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Archana Singh-Manoux, Michael Marmot. High blood pressure was associated with cognitive function in middle-age in the Whitehall II study.. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Elsevier, 2005, 58 (12), pp.1308-15. ⟨10.1016/j.jclinepi.2005.03.016⟩. ⟨inserm-01155147⟩

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