- High arterial stiffness was associated with a faster reduction in the global cognitive score.
- Decline in phonemic fluency was most clearly associated with aortic stiffness.
Why this matters
- Arterial stiffness severity may be used as an indicator to administer prompt treatments to prevent or delay the onset of cognitive decline or dementia.
- The Whitehall II longitudinal cohort study evaluated aortic pulse wave velocity in 4300 participants who were divided into different tertiles: lowest third: 8.91 m/second.
- Global cognitive score based on responses to memory, reasoning and fluency tests calculated thrice over 7 years of follow up.
- Funding: UK Medical Research Council and others.
- At baseline, participants in the highest third vs lowest third tertiles had a significant reduction in different cognitive domain outcomes as follows:
- global cognitive score (mean difference [MD], −0.12; 95% CI, −0.18 to −0.06; P<.001>
- memory (MD, −0.12; 95% CI, −0.19 to −0.05; P<.001>
- reasoning (MD, −0.08; 95% CI, −0.13 to −0.02; P=.01),
- phonemic (MD, −0.10; 95% CI, −0.17 to −0.03; P=.007) and
- semantic (MD, −0.08; 95% CI, −0.14 to −0.01; P=.03) fluency.
- Cognitive data derived from white-collar civil servants may not be broadly representative.