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Editor's Correspondence
February 25, 2002

Increased Blood Pressure Variability May Be Associated With Cognitive Decline in Hypertensive Elderly Subjects With No Dementia

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(4):483-484. doi:

As Birkenhäger and colleagues1 suggested in their article, the decrement of blood pressure (BP) occurring in patients with hypertension in the phases shortly before dementia may be related to a central dysregulation of prefrontal autonomic centers. To contribute to this topic, we have studied the relationship between cognitive function and BP variability, which is known to reflect an altered baroreflex sensitivity.2 We evaluated 34 elderly patients consecutively admitted to our hospital with no dementia (normal or mild cognitive impairment according to the Petersen criteria).3 All patients underwent a neuropsychological assessment to evaluate cognitive functions (Table 1) and a noninvasive, 24-hour BP monitoring (using the Intermed Takeda TM-2430; A & D Instruments Ltd, Abingdon, Oxford, England) to determine the circadian BP profile.

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