Pulse Wave Velocity and Cognitive Function in Older Adults

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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.

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