Left ventricular hypertrophy and cognitive function: A systematic review

C. Restrepo, S. K. Patel, V. Rethnam, E. Werden, J. Ramchand, L. Churilov, L. M. Burrell, A. Brodtmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive impairment is common in patients with hypertension. Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is recognised as a marker of hypertension-related organ damage and is a strong predictor of coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke. There is evidence that LVH is independently associated with cognitive impairment, even after adjustment for the presence of hypertension. We conducted a systematic review that examined cognitive impairment in adults with LVH. Independent searches were performed in Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid psycInfo and PubMed with the terms left ventricular hypertrophy and cognition. Seventy-three studies were identified when both searches were combined. After limiting the search to studies that were: (1) reported in English; (2) conducted in humans; (3) in adults aged 50 years and older; and (4) investigated the relationship between LVH and cognitive performance, nine papers were included in this systematic review. The majority of studies found an association between LVH and cognitive performance. Inspection of results indicated that individuals with LVH exhibited a lower performance in cognitive tests, when compared to individuals without LVH. Memory and executive functions were the cognitive domains that showed a specific vulnerability to the presence of LVH. A possible mechanism for the relationship between LVH and cognition is the presence of cerebral white matter damage. White matter lesions occur frequently in patients with LVH and may contribute to cognitive dysfunction. Together, the results of this review suggest that memory impairment and executive dysfunction are the cognitive domains that showed a particular association with the presence of LVH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

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