METHODS: Data was obtained from the Malaysian Elders Longitudinal Research (MELoR) study, which employed random stratified sampling from three parliamentary constituencies within the Klang Valley. Beat-to-beat blood pressure (BP) was recorded using non-invasive BP monitoring (TaskforceTM, CNSystems). Low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) and low-to-high frequency (LF:HF) ratio for BPV were derived using fast Fourier transformation. Cognition was evaluated using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test, and categorized into normal aging, mild impairment and moderate-to-severe impairment.
RESULTS: Data from 1,140 individuals, mean age (SD) 68.48 (7.23) years, were included. Individuals with moderate-to-severe impairment had higher HF-BPV for systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure compared to individuals within the normal aging group [OR (95% CI) = 2.29 (1.62-3.24)] and [OR (95% CI) = 1.80 (1.32-2.45)], while HF-SBPV [OR (95% CI) = 1.41 (1.03-1.93)] but not HF-DBPV was significantly higher with mild impairment compared to normal aging after adjustments for potential confounders. Moderate-to-severe impairment was associated with significantly lower LF:HF-SBPV [OR (95% CI) = 0.29 (0.18-0.47)] and LF:HF-DBPV [OR (95% CI) = 0.49 (0.34-0.72)], while mild impairment was associated with significantly lower LF:HF-SBPV [OR (95% CI) = 0.52 (0.34-0.80)] but not LF:HF-DBPV [OR (95% CI) = 0.81 (0.57-1.17)], compared to normal aging with similar adjustments.
CONCLUSION: Higher HF-BPV, which indicates parasympathetic activation, and lower LF:HF-BPV, which addresses sympathovagal balance, were observed among individuals with moderate-to-severe cognitive impairment. Future studies should determine whether BPV could be a physiological marker or modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline.
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