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Central (aortic) blood pressures differ from brachial pressures and may be more relevant to the study of cognitive function, given that blood is delivered to the brain through the central large arteries. Pulse-pressure amplification reflects the augmentation of blood pressure between the central and peripheral arteries, which diminishes with aging. We aimed to determine the association between central blood pressure and cognitive function in independently living adults aged 20 to 82 years (N = 493). In adjusted regression models, higher central systolic pressure and higher central pulse pressure were each associated with poorer processing speed, Stroop processing, and recognition memory. Lower amplification was associated with poorer Stroop processing, working memory, and recognition memory. Higher brachial systolic pressure and brachial pulse pressure were both associated with poorer Stroop processing. In summary, central pressures and amplification were sensitive indicators of cognitive aging, predicting aspects of cognitive performance not predicted by brachial blood pressure.

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Journal Article

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