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Microinfarcts, Declining BP Linked in Older Adults

JAMA Neurology; ePub 2017 Dec 4; Graff-Radford, et al

Subcortical microinfarcts were associated with declining blood pressure (BP) in elderly individuals, a recent study found. From the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, 303 of 1,158 individuals (26.2%) in this cohort study agreed to have an autopsy between November 1, 2004, and March 31, 2016. Cerebral microinfarcts were identified and classified as cortical or subcortical. Baseline and BP trajectories were compared for groups with no microinfarcts, subcortical microinfarcts, and cortical microinfarcts. Researchers found:

  • Of the 303 participants who underwent autopsy, 297 had antemortem BP measurements.
  • Of these, 177 (59.6%) were men; mean (SD) age at death was 87.2 (5.3) years.
  • The autopsied individuals and the group who died but were not autopsied were similar for all demographics except educational level with autopsied participants having a mean of 1 more year of education.
  • Among 297 autopsied individuals with antemortem BP measurements, 47 (15.8%) had chronic microinfarcts; 30 (63.8%) of these participants were men.
  • 30 (63.8%) had cortical microinfarcts, 19 (40.4%) had subcortical microinfarcts, and 4 (8.5%) had only infratentorial microinfarcts.

Graff-Radford J, Raman MR, Rabinstein AA, et al. Association between microinfarcts and blood pressure trajectories. [Published online ahead of print December 4, 2017]. JAMA Neurology. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3392.