Both antihypertensive treatment and statins were proved to reduce mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Yet their effect on cognitive functions of the elderly is unclear. In this study, 518 elderly were interviewed at their home six years ago. BP was measured and antihypertensive drug treatment and cognitive functions were evaluated. 318 of the original sample were re-examined (81% of the survivors). We evaluated the selective survival in relation to changes in BP, the specific drug usage and cognitive functioning. Beta blocker treatment increased the odds of survival but also the odds of decline in MMSE and memory scores. ACE-I treatment was also associated with decline in memory. Subjects treated with CCB had improved MMSE scores, memory, and performed better on tasks requiring concentration. Statins treatment in this study did not show any affect on cognitive functions. Although most subjects were treated by more than one antihypertensive drug, less than half were normalized at baseline and only one quarter at follow-up. Despite the low normalization rate, antihypertensive treatment regimen had been hardly changed during the six years follow-up. The use of statins, however, increased dramatically: from 6% at baseline to almost half at follow-up. According to our findings CCB emerges as the best option for reducing BP in elderly patients. It appeared to improve cognitive functions without hampering survival.
- antihypertensive treatment
- cognitive functioning