Arterial Stiffness and Cognition Among Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational and Longitudinal Studies
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Background To estimate the strength of the cross-sectional and longitudinal association between arterial stiffness, measured by pulse-wave velocity, and cognitive function, distinguishing between global cognition, executive functions, and memory and to examine the influence of demographic, clinical, and assessment characteristics on this relationship. Methods and Results Systematic review of MEDLINE (via PubMed), Scopus, and WOS databases from their inception to March 2019, to identify cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the association between pulse-wave velocity and cognitive domains (ie, global cognition, executive functions, and memory) among adult population. A total of 29 cross-sectional and 9 longitudinal studies support the negative relationship between arterial stiffness and cognitive function, including global cognition, executive function, and memory. Demographic, clinical, and assessment characteristics did not substantially modify the strength of this association. Conclusions Evidence reveals a negative association between arterial stiffness, measured using pulse-wave velocity, and cognition, specifically executive function, memory, and global cognition. This association seems to be independent of demographic, clinical, and assessment characteristics. These results accumulate evidence supporting that pulse-wave velocity assessment could be a useful tool to identify individuals at high risk of cognitive decline or early stages of cognitive decline, to implement interventions aimed at slowing the progression to dementia.
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