Arterial stiffness and cognitive function in the elderly

Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Kristine Yaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Cognitive decline and dementia are a major cause of disability and mortality among older adults. Cross-sectional evidence from observational studies suggests that greater arterial stiffness is associated with worse cognitive performance. These associations have been observed on measures of global cognition and across multiple domains of cognition. Epidemiologic evidence on the association between arterial stiffness and rate of cognitive decline has been less definitive, and very few studies have investigated the risk of developing dementia. This review summarizes the current research on arterial stiffness and cognition, issues around measurement, and the effect that potential intervention might have on the course of cognitive aging. The evidence on pharmacological and non-pharmacological (exercise, nutrition, etc.) interventions in older adults with arterial stiffness is promising. Yet there are no studies or trials that directly evaluate how interventions of arterial stiffness reduce or prevent cognitive impairment and risk of developing dementia. More research is needed to elucidate the causal link between arterial stiffness and cognitive decline and dementia, and to identify whether potential interventions to prevent or reduce arterial stiffness may benefit cognitive health of the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S503-S514
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
StatePublished - 2014


  • Aging
  • arterial stiffness
  • cognitive decline
  • dementia
  • epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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