Background- Our objective was to investigate the association between hypertension and concurrent impairments in mobility, cognition, and mood; the role of brain white matter hyperintensities in mediating this association; and the impact of these impairments on disability and mortality in elderly hypertensive individuals. Methods and Results- -Blood pressure, gait speed, digit symbol substitution test, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale were measured yearly (1992-1999) on 4700 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study (age: 74.7, 58% women, 17% blacks, 68% hypertension, 3600 had brain magnetic resonance imaging in 1992-1993, survival data 1992-2005). Using latent profile analysis at baseline, we found that 498 (11%) subjects had concurrent impairments and 3086 (66%) were intact on all 3 measures. Between 1992 and 1999, 651 (21%) became impaired in all 3 domains. Hypertensive individuals were more likely to be impaired at baseline (odds ratio 1.23, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.42, P=0.01) and become impaired during the follow-up (hazard ratio=1.3, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.66, P=0.037). A greater degree of white matter hyperintensities was associated with impairments in the 3 domains (P=0.007) and mediated the association with hypertension (P=0.19 for hypertension after adjusting for white matter hyperintensities in the model, 21% hazard ratio change). Impairments in the 3 domains increased subsequent disability with hypertension (P<0.0001). Hypertension mortality also was increased in those impaired (compared with unimpaired hypertensive individuals: HR=1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.17, P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS-: Hypertension increases the risk of concurrent impairments in mobility, cognition, and mood, which increases disability and mortality. This association is mediated in part by microvascular brain injury.
- white matter hyperintensities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)