Blood pressure a risk factor for geriatric syndrome in the very old
Among elderly adults, systolic blood pressure (SBP) shares an inverse relationship with geriatric syndrome, reports a recent study.
The study included 1,000 participants who were 70±1 years, 978 who were 80±1 years, and 272 who were 90±1 years. BP, grip strength, gait speed, and cognitive function were measured onsite, using the appropriate tests and inventories. Trained professionals collected medical histories and information medications taken.
Among the octogenarians taking antihypertensive medications, lower SBP correlated significantly with a greater prevalence of physical frailty, as assessed by the Cochran-Armitage trend test (p<0.01). This interaction remained robust to adjustments for sex, albumin, and comorbidities.
Notably, such an effect was absent in counterparts who were not on antihypertensives, as well as in the 70- and 90-year age groups.
Similarly, among participants taking antihypertensives, BP was found to be correlated with cognitive function. In septuagenarians, higher SBP was tied to worse cognitive function, while in 90-year-olds, declining cognition was associated with lower SBP. No such interaction was reported in octogenarians.
Additionally stratifying for physical frailty status, SBP was significantly correlated with cognitive function only in septuagenarians, although inversely so.
“Our results imply that among older people, those who have declined functionality or are over 90 years old may do better to avoid strict lowering of the SBP,” the researchers said. “However, in robust older people such as those who are 70 years old, it is important to control hypertension to delay or prevent cognitive impairments.”
“Further longitudinal and interventional studies are needed to clarify the appropriate lower limit of BP in older populations,” they added.