Age modifies the relation between intraindividual measurement-to-measurement variation in blood pressure and cognitive function: the Maine-Syracuse Study

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There is evidence to suggest that intraindividual variability in blood pressure (BP IIV) may be superior to mean BP for predicting cognitive function, taken from both within a single visit and between-visits. BP IIV increases with age in studies of persons middle-aged and older. The aim was therefore to investigate age by BP IIV (SBP and DBP) interactions with regard to cognitive functioning while considering medication class and polypharmacy, which may also affect BP IIV with advancing age.

Method and results:

Cross-sectional analyses were performed on 980 community-dwelling individuals from the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. Automated BP measures were taken 15 times (five times each in sitting, reclining, and standing positions). Cognitive function was assessed using a thorough neuropsychological test battery following the BP assessment. A significant age by BP IIV interaction was observed. For individuals aged over age 60 years, IIV in SBP and DBP was inversely associated with Global Composite, Scanning and Tracking, and the Similarities test. IIV in SBP was additionally associated with Verbal Memory and the Mini-Mental State Examination. DBP IIV was additionally related to the Visual-Spatial Memory and Organization composite. There were no significant associations between BP IIV and cognitive function in those aged less than 60 years.


BP IIV is an important predictor of cognition with advancing age.

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