Life-course blood pressure in relation to brain volumes

Melinda C. Power, Andrea L C Schneider, Lisa Wruck, Michael Griswold, Laura H. Coker, Alvaro Alonso, Clifford R. Jack, David Knopman, Thomas H. Mosley, Rebecca F. Gottesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Introduction The impact of blood pressure on brain volumes may be time-dependent or pattern-dependent. Methods Of 1678 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study, we quantified the association between measures and patterns of blood pressure over three time points (∼24 or ∼15 years prior and concurrent with neuroimaging) with late life brain volumes. Results Higher diastolic blood pressure ∼24 years prior, higher systolic and pulse pressure ∼15 years prior, and consistently elevated or rising systolic blood pressure from ∼15 years prior to concurrent with neuroimaging, but not blood pressures measured concurrent with neuroimaging, were associated with smaller volumes. The pattern of hypertension ∼15 years prior and hypotension concurrent with neuroimaging was associated with smaller volumes in regions preferentially affected by Alzheimer's disease (e.g., hippocampus: −0.27 standard units, 95% CI: −0.51, −0.03). Discussion Hypertension 15 to 24 years prior is relevant to current brain volumes. Hypertension followed by hypotension appears particularly detrimental.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-899
Number of pages10
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Melinda C. Power is supported by the NIA ( T32 AG027668 ). The ARIC is carried out as a collaborative study supported by NHLBI contracts (HHSN268201100005C, HHSN268201100006C, HHSN268201100007C, HHSN268201100008C, HHSN268201100009C, HHSN268201100010C, HHSN268201100011C, and HHSN268201100012C). Neurocognitive data is collected by U01 HL096812, HL096814, HL096899, HL096902, HL096917 with previous brain MRI examinations funded by R01-HL70825. The sponsors had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection management, analysis and interpretation of the data; or preparation review, or approval of the manuscript.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Blood pressure
  • Brain volumes
  • Cohort study
  • Epidemiology
  • Human
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neurodegeneration

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