Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
CAVALINI, Luciana Tricai and CHOR, Dora. A survey on hypertension and cognitive deficit in elderly subjects in a geriatric unit. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2003, vol.6, n.1, pp.7-17. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2003000100003.
INTRODUCTION: Both hypertension and cognitive deficits are highly prevalent conditions in the elderly population, with direct influence on the quality of life. Thus, identifying associations between these conditions is of public health interest. METHOD: A survey was performed at an outpatient care unit for the elderly to study the association between hypertension and cognitive deficit. The identification of individuals with cognitive impairment was carried out using the Mini Mental State Examination, applied to all patients attending the service from August 1998 to January 1999. Patient interviews and medical record reviews made exposure classification possible (hypertensive/non-hypertensive). RESULTS: Ninety-nine subjects with cognitive impairment were identified among the 307 participants, representing a prevalence rate of 32,2% (95% CI = 27,0% - 37,4%). A strong inverse association between hypertension and cognitive deficit was estimated for the group aged 80 or more, whose diagnosis had been registered for at least five years (OR = 0,13; 95% CI = 0,03 - 0,54). This association was not found among those aged 65 - 79. CONCLUSIONS: The inverse association between hypertension and cognitive deficit in the most elderly strengthens the hypothesis of other authors that a certain blood pressure rate is needed to maintain cognitive function in this age group. Further studies on the subject in our country are suggested.
Keywords : Hypertension; Cognitive impairment; Elderly; Epidemiological surveys.