Background: Cognitive function is impaired in elderly subjects, so the aim of the present study was to determine the role of arterial stiffness on cognitive function. Methods and Results: Cognitive function and arterial stiffness were assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and measurement of the brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (PWV), respectively. The cross-sectional association of the MMSE score and PWV was studied in 203 subjects (87 men, 116 women), all of whom were 85 years old. Sex distribution, systolic and diastolic blood pressures did not differ between the normal (MMSE score ≥24, n=128) and impaired MMSE groups (MMSE score <24, n=75). In contrast, the PWV was significantly increased in the impaired MMSE group than in the normal MMSE group (25.0±0.8 vs 22.9±0.5 m/s, p<0.05). In multiple regression analysis, the PWV was also independently and significantly associated with the MMSE score. Conclusions: These results suggest that cognitive function could be predicted by arterial stiffness, as assessed by the PWV, in the very old. Preventing atherosclerosis may play an important role in preserving normal cognitive function until very old age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine