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As You Age Check Your BP for It Can Affect Your Mental Ability

According to a new study it was found that in case of older patients who are 80 years of age or above, their mental abilities are on the decline due to erratic change in blood pressure. //Presented in New York City at the 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH 2006), the study measured blood pressure and cognitive function in 101 Japanese outpatients receiving treatment for chronic diseases such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, chronic gastritis, and osteoporosis.

‘Although clinicians may be reluctant to treat older patients aggressively, perhaps because of perceived lower benefits or possible increased risk of medication side effects, these findings show the potential value of interventions,’ said Kenichi Sakakura, M.D. of the Public Kiwa Clinic in Kumano, Mie, Japan. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the association between pulse pressure and cognitive function in the very elderly, specifically those over 80 years old.

Blood pressure was measured via 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) and evaluations of cognitive function utilized the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), an 11-question measure with a maximum score of 30 points, which tests five areas of cognitive function: orientation, registration, attention and calculation, recall, and language. Cognitive dysfunction was defined by the score of the MMSE. There are several cut-off points for the MMSE (22 points – 26 points) and 24 points was chosen as the cut-off point because all of the patients in the study were 80 years of age and older.

Results showed 24-h systolic BP: 138.1+17.6 mmHg; 24-h diastolic BP: 75.9+8.0 mmHg. Mean MMSE score was 23.1 ± 4.2, and of those, 55.4 percent of patients were diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction (<24 points). MMSE scores decreased across the tertiles of standard deviation of systolic blood pressure readings (SBP) (P=0.02), indicating lower functioning, but remained signifi
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