To compare neurocognitive test performance of children with primary hypertension with that of normotensive controls.
Seventy-five children (10-18 years of age) with newly diagnosed, untreated hypertension and 75 frequency-matched normotensive controls had baseline neurocognitive testing as part of a prospective multicenter study of cognition in primary hypertension. Subjects completed tests of general intelligence, attention, memory, executive function, and processing speed. Parents completed rating scales of executive function and the Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder scale of the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ-SRBD).
Hypertension and control groups did not differ significantly in age, sex, maternal education, income, race, ethnicity, obesity, anxiety, depression, cholesterol, glucose, insulin, and C-reactive protein. Subjects with hypertension had greater PSQ-SRBD scores (P = .04) and triglycerides (P = .037). Multivariate analyses showed that hypertension was independently associated with worse performance on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (List A Trial 1, P = .034; List A Total, P = .009; Short delay recall, P = .013), CogState Groton Maze Learning Test delayed recall (P = .002), Grooved Pegboard dominant hand (P = .045), and Wechsler Abbreviated Scales of Intelligence Vocabulary (P = .016). Results indicated a significant interaction between disordered sleep (PSQ-SRBD score) and hypertension on ratings of executive function (P = .04), such that hypertension heightened the association between increased disordered sleep and worse executive function.
Youth with primary hypertension demonstrated significantly lower performance on neurocognitive testing compared with normotensive controls, in particular, on measures of memory, attention, and executive functions.
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