Family history of hypertension influences neurobehavioral function in hypertensive patients.
This study examined the influence of family history of hypertension on neurobehavioral performance. Sixty-two hypertensive men and women who reported a family history of hypertension (+FH) were compared with 28 hypertensive individuals without a family history (-FH) and 32 normotensive control subjects. A neurocognitive test battery that included tests of information processing, verbal memory, and figural memory was administered individually to each patient. Results showed that +FH, compared with -FH and normotensive control subjects, was associated with poorer performance on three tests of attention and short-term memory (Sternberg reaction time, Trails B, and Digit Span). There were no differences between the groups on tests of either verbal or figural memory. Other variables, including gender, ethnicity, age, years of education, blood pressure, state anxiety, depression, and Type A behavior did not account for these results. In addition, +FH hypertensive subjects reported greater levels of state anxiety and depression compared with -FH hypertensive subjects and normotensive control subjects. The findings suggest a genetic link to impaired cognitive abilities, as observed among hypertensive patients relative to their normotensive counterparts.
Thyrum, ET; Blumenthal, JA; Madden, DJ; Siegel, W
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