Arterial pulse wave velocity as a marker of poor cognitive function in an elderly community-dwelling population

Yoshinori Fujiwara, Paulo H.M. Chaves, Ryutaro Takahashi, Hidenori Amano, Hiroto Yoshida, Shu Kumagai, Koji Fujita, Dou Gui Wang, Shoji Shinkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Knowledge about potentially modifiable risk factors for cognitive decline is limited at this time. The aim of this study was to determine the cross-sectional relationship between a low level of cognitive function and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) in a community-dwelling elderly population. Methods. The study population included 352 community-dwelling Japanese persons ages 70 years and older who participated in a comprehensive health examination in April 2003. None had any history of cardiovascular disease. In addition to conventional medical examinations such as blood pressure and routine blood analyses, cognitive function was tested using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and baPWV was determined using a recently developed noninvasive and automatic arterial waveform analyzer (AT-Form). This measure, with well-established validity and reproducibility, reflects both central and peripheral arterial flow. A multivariate logistic regression model tested the possible association between poor cognitive function (an MMSE score <24) and baPWV. Results. Poor cognitive function was independently associated with the middle tertile of baPWV (odds ratio [OR] = 9.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15 to 80.93), age (1-year increment; OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.22), and the highest tertile of pulse pressure (OR = 4.70, 95% CI = 1.08 to 20.48) even after multivariate adjustment of data for the effects of age, educational level, and hemodynamic and metabolic antecedents of atherosclerosis. Conclusions. A high baPWV may be a potent risk factor for poor cognitive function in an elderly community-dwelling population, and this effect is independent of another marker of arterial stiffness: pulse pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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