Investigating Relationships Between Hypertension, Sleep, and Cognitive Risk in an Underserved Community


Alzheimer’s disease


Purpose: The aim of this descriptive correlational pilot study was to investigate the relationship between hypertension, sleep deprivation, and risk of Alzheimer’s disease in a rural, older, underserved, and ethnically diverse cohort.
Sample: Residents (n = 52) from three independent subsidized housing units for retired farmer workers, located in a rural Florida area known as the Glades, volunteered for the study.
Methods: A quantitative descriptive approach using Pearson correlations, t-tests, and scatter plot analysis was applied to surveys and Mini-CogTM results.
Findings: About a quarter (23.1%) of the participants were identified as being at risk for cognitive impairment. Hypertension risk correlated moderately with cognitive impairment risk (r = 0.40, p = 0.01). However, in this ethnically, diverse cohort, sleep quality did not significantly influence either blood pressure or cognitive status. This is contrary to other studies that have found an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease among persons with hypertension (Carnevale, Perrotta, Lembo, & Trimarco, 2015) and insufficient sleep (Brzecka et al., 2018).
Implications: These results suggest that further investigation is needed to examine if rural living or culture moderates Alzheimer’s disease risk factors of diminished sleep and hypertension. Future findings could impact the design of interventions aimed at reducing AD risk in diverse rural settings.

Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease, Sleep, Hypertension, Rural, Elders, Underserved, Diverse 


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