Hippocampal sulcal cavities (HSCs) are frequently observed on MRI, but their etiology and relevance is unclear. HSCs may be anatomical variations, or result from pathology. We assessed the presence of HSCs, and their cross-sectional association with demographics, vascular risk factors and cognitive functioning in two study samples. Within a random sample of 92 patients with vascular disease from the SMART-Medea study (mean age = 62, SD = 9 years) and 83 primary care patients from the PREDICT-MR study (mean age = 62, SD = 12 years) one rater manually scored HSCs at 1.5 T 3D T1-weighted coronal images blind to patient information. We estimated relative risks of age, sex and vascular risk factors with presence of HSCs using Poisson regression with log-link function and robust standard errors adjusted for age and sex. Using ANCOVA adjusted for age, sex, and education we estimated the association of the number of HSCs with memory, executive functioning, speed, and working memory. In the SMART-Medea study HSCs were present in 65% and in 52% in the PREDICT-MR study (χ2 = 2.99, df = 1, p = 0.08). In both samples, no significant associations were observed between presence of HSCs and age (SMART-Medea: RR = 1.00; 95%CI 0.98-1.01; PREDICT-MR: RR = 1.01; 95%CI 0.99-1.03), sex, or vascular risk factors. Also, no associations between HSCs and cognitive functioning were found in either sample. HSCs are frequently observed on 1.5 T MRI. Our findings suggest that, in patients with a history of vascular disease and primary care attendees, HSCs are part of normal anatomic variation of the human hippocampus rather than markers of pathology.