Midlife Cardiovascular Risk Factors May Increase Chances of Dementia

Midlife Cardiovascular Risk Factors May Increase Chances of Dementia

This article discusses a study which sought to find a link between vascular health and the potential to develop dementia later in life. The results of the study were consistent and did not seem to vary depending on race (the study included both white and black individuals). Focusing on individuals between 45-64 years of age the study checked in on them four times over the following 25 years to see if the conditions and factors initially identified resulted in the development of problems later on. This study interestingly, found similar results as prior studies but as they had not looked at conditions over such a long time, it was hard to draw a direct comparison. The difference with the larger study however was due to the length of time being used. It found a potential a link between dementia and prehypertension which had not previously been identified by those studies that were looking a shorter time frame. For those indivdiuals over age 65 different risk factors began to come into the picture but as the study did not want these results, the researchers tried to eliminate them as was possible without discounting the rest of the research that they had done.

Key Points:

  • 1Dementia is becoming an important public health issue as the population ages.
  • 2Researchers have found that those with cardiovascular risks (diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking) are at an increased risk for dementia, even after accounting for genetic risk factors.
  • 3Midlife cardiovascular health in particular seems to have a link to dementia.

Diabetes, hypertension, prehypertension and smoking increased the risk of dementia for both stroke-free participants and those who had a stroke.

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