Blood Pressure Fluctuations Linked to Cognitive Decline

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

A study finds an association between higher long-term blood pressure variability and a faster rate of cognitive decline among older adults.

Fluctuating blood pressure readings could hasten cognitive decline later in life, new research shows.

The results of a study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension this week suggest that higher long-term blood pressure variability is associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline among older adults.

Lead author Bo “Bonnie” Qin, a postdoctoral scholar at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, tells the American Heart Association:

“Blood pressure variability might signal blood flow instability, which could lead to the damage of the finer vessels of the body with changes in brain structure and function. These blood pressure fluctuations may indicate pathological processes such as inflammation and impaired function in the blood vessels themselves.”

Qin said that doctors, who tend to focus on average blood pressure readings, might want to also look out for high variability between readings. Controlling that variability could be key to preserving cognitive function in older adults, she said.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from a five-year survey of 976 Chinese adults. The participants’ blood pressure variability was determined based on readings taken during visits to health professionals. The participants’ cognitive function was determined by their performance on a series of cognitive quizzes like word-recall exercises and counting backwards.

The researchers’ specific findings include:

  • Higher variability in the top number in a blood pressure reading (systolic blood pressure) was associated with a faster decline of cognitive function and verbal memory.
  • Higher variability in the bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) was associated with faster decline of cognitive function among adults ages 55 to 64, but not among those ages 65 and older.

The observational study does not prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between blood pressure variability and declining cognitive function. The American Heart Association notes, however, that the findings add to a growing body of evidence that variation in blood pressure readings could indicate an increased risk for other medical problems.

Do you or your doctor pay attention to your blood pressure variability? Let us know in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Change These 3 Habits and Retire Wealthy

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,851 more deals!