Relationship of age and hypertension to neuropsychological test performance

Clyde A. Pentz, W. Gibson Wood, Merrill F. Elias, Norman A. Schultz, John Dineen

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30 Scopus citations


Young adult (X = 29) and middle aged (X = 50) hypertensive and normoiensive subjects were compared with respect to seven neuropsychological test scores derived from tests on the Halstead-Reitan battery. Age main effects, with inferior performance for the middle aged subjects, were observed for the localization and time portions of the Tactile Performance Test (TPT) and for the Trail Making A test. The multivariate age effect was significant for the composite of seven scores. A multivariate blood pressure main effect was obtained and main effect blood pressure was significant for the category test; hypertensives made more errors than normotensives. A blood pressure by age interaction was observed for finger tapping scores and the TPT-Memory scores with larger differences between hypertensives and normotensives for the younger than for the middle aged group. Results were discussed in terms of previous studies of age and hypertension with the WAIS, the Primary Mental Abilities Test and serial reaction time measures. The poor prediction of hypertensive status from individual neuropsychological test scores was emphasized and readers were cautioned not to conclude that essential hypertensives, as a group, can be characterized as brain damaged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-372
Number of pages22
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1979

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a Grant from the National Institute on Aging to M.F. Elias (AC 00868). Reprint requests should be sent to M.F. Elias. M.F. Elias is also affiliated with Bangor Mental Health Institute and W.G. Wood is also affiliated with the Department of Psychology, University of Maine at Orono.


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