Background: The prevalence of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease (AD) increases with age. A number of studies have demonstrated an association between AD and cardiovascular risk factors and disease. However, data are inconsistent. Methods: Cross-sectional observational study in a geriatric outpatient population. Analysis of data from 327 patients diagnosed with probable AD in a geriatric outpatient clinic. Comparison of blood pressure levels, cardiovascular diagnoses, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score between the patients. Results: MMSE score decreased with age (β = -0.25; 95% CI: -0.35 to 0.15), and a positive correlation was found with systolic blood pressure (β = 0.03; 95% CI: 0.003-0.06), pulse pressure (β = 0.05; 95% CI: 0.01-0.08) and hypertension (β = 1.56; 95% CI: 0.05-3.07). An increase in cardiovascular disease load had a negative effect on cognitive performance. After adjustment for duration of dementia (data present for 216 patients), results were slightly changed. Conclusions: Higher systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure were associated with a better cognitive test performance. Patients with probable AD and 2 or more cardiovascular diagnoses had lower MMSE scores. Copyright

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Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Bruchem-Visser, R.L, Mattace Raso, F.U.S, & van der Cammen, T.J.M. (2009). High systolic and pulse pressure levels are associated with better cognitive performance in patients with probable alzheimer's disease: A cross-sectional observational study in a geriatric outpatient population. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, 28(4), 320–324. doi:10.1159/000249146