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Effects of hypertension on attention, memory, and executive function in older adults

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Brian Saxby, Dr Frances Harrington, Professor Ian McKeith, Professor Gary Ford


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Hypertension is associated with impairments in cognitive function in older adults, but the nature and extent of these deficits are unclear. Brief cognitive measures lack sensitivity, whereas comprehensive assessments produce numerous variables that are difficult to interpret. The authors performed a principal-components analysis using a computerized cognitive assessment battery and neuropsychological measures of executive function in 506 hypertensive and normotensive older participants. Composite factor scores were used to reanalyze data from 223 untreated participants without vascular complications. The hypertensive group had deficits in Speed of Cognition, Episodic and Working Memory, and Executive Function but not Continuity of Attention. Using composite scores simplified data interpretation and suggested differential effects of hypertension on cognitive performance not clearly evident in individual test results.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Saxby BK, Harrington F, McKeith IG, Wesnes K, Ford GA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health Psychology

Year: 2003

Volume: 22

Issue: 6

Pages: 587-591

ISSN (print): 0278-6133

ISSN (electronic): 1930-7810

Publisher: American Psychological Association


DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.22.6.587


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