Background and Purpose: We conducted a cross-sectional epidemiological survey using ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and brain MRI in a cohort from northern Japan to determine whether an inappropriately low nocturnal blood pressure, or an excess fall in nocturnal blood pressure, might be responsible for silent cerebrovascular lesions in the elderly. Methods: Untreated subjects over 55 years and under 64 years of age (late middle age; 24 men and 46 women, 60% of eligible people) and over 65 years and under 75 years of age (elderly; 29 men and 52 women, 91% of eligible people) participated in the study. We evaluated the relationship between the amplitude (Daytime Average-Nighttime Average) or the rate ([Daytime Average Nighttime Average]/Daytime Average) of the fall in nocturnal blood pressure and the incidence of silent cerebrovascular lesions on MRI (number of lacunar infarctions or extent of periventricular hyperintensity). Results: The amplitude or the rate of the fall in nocturnal blood pressure in elderly women with one or two lacunar infarctions was significantly higher than that in those without such infarctions. There was a significant positive correlation between the amplitude or the rate of the fall in nocturnal blood pressure and the extent of periventricular hyperintensity in the elderly women. This relationship was observed in women, but not in men, of late middle age; this was not seen in elderly men. Conclusions: Results indicate that an inappropriately low nocturnal blood pressure, or an excessive fall in nocturnal blood pressure, is associated with ischemic silent cerebrovascular lesions, at least in elderly women. Treatment of hypertension in such women should be administered with care and with regard to nocturnal blood pressure.
- blood pressure
- cerebrovascular disorders
- magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialised Nursing