P-Wave Dispersion (PWD) is an ECG parameter defined as the difference between the longest and the shortest P-Wave duration. PWD has been associated with hypertension, a leading cause of age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, hypertension is associated with vascular dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. Based on these considerations, we evaluated PWD and global cognitive function in frail hypertensive older adults with a previous diagnosis of cognitive decline. We evaluated consecutive frail hypertensive patients >= 65-year-old with a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score <26. Patients with evidence of secondary hypertension, history of stroke, myocardial infarction, or therapy with beta-blockers or acetylcholinesterase inhibitors were excluded. Beta-blocker therapy causes a significant decrease in PWD; patients treated with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors were not included to avoid confounding effects on cognitive function. By examining 180 patients, we found that PWD significantly correlated with MMSE score. Strikingly, these effects were confirmed in a linear multivariate analysis with a regression model. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that PWD correlates with global cognitive function in frail hypertensive older adults.
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