BMC geriatrics 2017 10 2717(1) 252 doi 10.1186/s12877-017-0649-3
Vascular dementia (VaD) is the second most common form of dementia. However, there were mixed evidences about the association between blood pressure (BP) and risk of VaD in midlife and late life and limited evidence on the association between pulse pressure and VaD.
This is a population-based observational study. 265,897 individuals with at least one BP measurement between the ages of 60 to 65 years and 211,116 individuals with at least one BP measurement between the ages of 70 to 75 years were extracted from The Health Improvement Network in United Kingdom. Blood pressures were categorized into four groups: normal, prehypertension, stage 1 hypertension, and stage 2 hypertension. Cases of VaD were identified from the recorded clinical diagnoses. Multivariable survival analysis was used to adjust other confounders and competing risk of death. All the analysis were stratified based on antihypertensive drug use status. Multiple imputation was used to fill in missing values.
After accounting for the competing risk of death and adjustment for potential confounders, there was an association between higher BP levels in the age 60-65 cohort with the risk of developing VaD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.53 (95% confidence interval: 1.04, 2.25) for prehypertension, 1.90 (1.30, 2.78) for stage 1 hypertension, and 2.19 (1.48, 3.26) for stage 2 hypertension) in the untreated group. There was no statistically significant association between BP levels and VaD in the treated group in the age 60-65 cohort and age 70-75 cohort. Analysis on Pulse Pressure (PP) stratified by blood pressure level showed that PP was not independently associated with VaD.
High BP between the ages of 60 to 65 years is a significant risk for VaD in late midlife. Greater efforts should be placed on early diagnosis of hypertension and tight control of BP for hypertensive patients for the prevention of VaD.