High BP values linked to poor decision making in older adults
Nondemented older adults with higher blood pressure (BP) values may suffer from poorer decision making, according to a recent study.
A total of 908 nondemented older adults (age, ∼81 years; 75 percent women) from the Rush Memory and Aging Project were included in the analysis. Separate multivariable linear regression models showed the inverse associations of total decision-making scores with systolic (S)BP, mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP) after adjusting for age, sex, education, antihypertension medication use, diabetes and cumulative cardiovascular disease burden (p=0.03).
Additionally, the association between decision making and these BP values persisted after additional adjustment for global cognition.
In this study, the investigators used questions designed to simulate materials used in financial and healthcare settings in the real world to measure decision making in participants, which yielded a total score and domain-specific health and financial decision-making scores.
Two seated and one standing BP measurements were carried out, all of which contributed to average SBP, MAP and PP. Participants reported their hypertension status and underwent medical history and cognitive assessments. Antihypertensive medications were visually inspected and coded.
“Decision making, [which is] key to successful ageing, has implications for financial success, physical health and well-being,” the investigators said. “While poor decision making has been linked with increased risk of mortality, age-related cognitive decline and dementia, less is known regarding its associations with chronic disease indicators.”