A new study warns of variability in blood pressure for longer term may lead to faster decline in brain and cognitive function among older adults. As blood pressure variability might signal blood flow instability which in turn could cause damage of finer vessels of the body with changes in brain structure and function.
Researchers analysed results from 976 Chinese adults (half women, age 55 and or older) who participated in the China Health and Nutrition Survey over a period of five years.
Higher visit-to-visit variability in the top number in a blood pressure reading (systolic blood pressure) was associated with a faster decline of cognitive function and verbal memory, results found.
Researchers believe that controlling blood pressure instability could possibly be a potential strategy in preserving cognitive function among older adults.
The findings were published in the journal Hypertension. The key findings add to the body of evidence that variation in blood pressure readings - perhaps more so than averages - may indicate increased risk for some additional health problems.