Systolic orthostatic hypotension is related to lowered cognitive function: Findings from the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study.

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The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between orthostatic changes in blood pressure (BP) and cognition, with consideration given to cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle variables. The cross-sectional analysis included 961 community-dwelling participants of the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study, for whom BP clinic measures (five sitting, five recumbent, and five standing) were obtained. Eighteen percent of participants had orthostatic hypotension (fall in systolic BP ≥20 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥10 mm Hg upon standing) and 6% had orthostatic hypertension (rise in systolic BP ≥20 mm Hg). Orthostatic hypotension and hypertension defined using traditional criteria were unrelated to cognition with covariate adjustment. However, an examination of systolic and diastolic BP change independently revealed that participants with systolic orthostatic hypotension had poorer global cognition, verbal memory, and scanning and tracking scores than those with normal systolic BP change. The authors conclude that systolic orthostatic hypotension is significantly associated with reduced cognitive function.

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