“Do It-Yourself”: Home Blood Pressure as a Predictor of Traditional and Everyday Cognition in Older Adults

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Final version published as: 

Yeung SE, Loken Thornton W (2017) “Do it-yourself”: Home blood pressure as a predictor of traditional and everyday cognition in older adults. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0177424. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177424.

Date created: 


Hypertension guidelines recommend home blood pressure (HBP) monitoring in adjunct to office blood pressure (OBP) for its greater reproducibility and prognostic utility in the prevention of cardiovascular outcomes, especially stroke. To date, the relationship between HBP and cognitive function remains unexplored.


We examined HBP as a cognitive predictor in a multi-ethnic group of community-dwelling adults aged 60 and over (N = 133) using neuropsychological measures and analyzed the data using multiple regression analyses. We also employed “everyday cognition” measures that have been found to have higher prognostic utility for real-world functioning than traditional cognitive tasks.


Good to perfect HBP monitoring compliance over seven days was achieved by 88.7% of the participants with superior reliability (ICC≥.96) to office readings. Higher home systolic BP and pulse pressure predicted worse processing speed, executive function, and everyday cognitive function, whereas lower home diastolic BP predicted worse everyday cognition. Office readings were similarly associated with everyday cognitive function but with no other cognitive measures.


Our findings are the first to validate HBP as a predictor of neuropsychological function in older adults beyond cognitive screening. Differential relationships among blood pressure variables and specific cognitive domains were observed. With proper standardization and training, we demonstrated that HBP can be obtained in a multi-ethnic community-dwelling older adult cohort. Our findings emphasize the importance of employing blood pressure and cognitive measures that are adequately sensitive to detect vascular-related cognitive impairment in a relatively healthy population. Implications regarding proper HBP measurement for hypertension management, cognitive health, and everyday function are discussed.

Document type: 
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)