Relationships between Late-Life Blood Pressure and Cerebral Microinfarcts in Octogenarians: An Observational Autopsy Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of clinical medicine








blood pressure; late life; microinfarcts; octogenarians


Mid-life high blood pressure (BP) is a risk factor for cerebral microinfarcts. Less is known about the relationship between late-life BP and cerebral microinfarcts, the examination of which is the objective of the current study. This case-control study analyzed data from 551 participants (94.6% aged ≥80 years; 58.6% women) in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study who had autopsy data on microinfarcts and four values of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) before death. Using the average of four values, SBP was categorized using 10 mmHg intervals; a trend was defined as a ≥10 mmHg rise or fall from the first to fourth values (average gap of 6.5 years). Multivariable-adjusted regression models were used to examine the associations of BP and microinfarcts, adjusting for age, sex, last BP-to-death time, APOE genotype, and antihypertensive medication use. Microinfarcts were present in 274 (49.7%) participants; there were multiple in 51.8% of the participants, and they were located in cortical areas in 40.5%, subcortical areas in 29.6%, and both areas in 29.9% of the participants. All SBP categories (reference of 100-119 mmHg) and both SBP trends were associated with higher odds of both the presence and number of microinfarcts. The magnitude of these associations was numerically greater for subcortical than cortical microinfarcts. Similar associations were observed with DBP. These hypothesis-generating findings provide new information about the overall relationship between BP and cerebral microinfarcts in octogenarians.


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