Intelligence and Blood Pressure in the Aged

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Science  28 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3986, pp. 959-962
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3986.959


Diastolic hypertension was related to significant intellectual loss over a 10-year period among individuals initially examined in their 60's. Such loss was not found in their age peers in association with normal or mild elevations of blood pressure. Of the subjects initially examined at 70 to 79 years of age, none with hypertension completed the follow-up program, and those with normal and mildly elevated blood pressure showed some intellectual decline over the decade. At the initial examination, hypertension was related to lower intelligence test scores only among those subjects who subsequently did not complete the follow-up program. The results suggest that hypertension is related to intellectual changes among the aged.