Higher arterial stiffness is associated with lower cognitive performance in patients with hypertension.

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Cognitive impairment and elevated arterial stiffness have been described in patients with arterial hypertension, but their association has not been well studied. We evaluated the correlation of arterial stiffness and different cognitive domains in patients with hypertension compared with those with normotension. We evaluated 211 patients (69 with normotension and 142 with hypertension). Patients were age matched and distributed according to their blood pressure: normotension, hypertension stage 1, and hypertension stage 2. Cognitive function was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and a battery of neuropsychological evaluations that assessed six main cognitive domains. Pulse wave velocity was measured using a Complior device, and carotid properties were assessed by radiofrequency ultrasound. Central arterial pressure and augmentation index were obtained using applanation tonometry. The hypertension stage 2 group had higher arterial stiffness and worse performance either by Mini-Mental State Examination (26.8±2.1 vs 27.3±2.1 vs 28.0±2.0, P=.003) or the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test (23.4±3.5 vs 24.9±2.9 vs 25.6±3.0, P<.001). On multivariable regression analysis, augmentation index, intima-media thickness, and pulse wave velocity were the variables mainly associated with lower cognitive performance at different cognitive domains. Cognitive impairment in different domains was associated with higher arterial stiffness.

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