Cardiovascular risk factors in midlife have been linked to risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) later in life. However, the impact of cardiovascular risk factors on cognitive decline within midlife is not as well understood.
In a study published online on March 12 in Alzheimer's & Dementia, Carol A. Derby, Ph.D., and colleagues examined data from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). They found that the presence of diabetes, elevated fasting glucose, central obesity, or heart age greater than chronological age (an index of cardiovascular risk factor burden) was associated with rate of decline in cognitive processing speed during midlife but not with a decline in working or verbal memory. The findings suggest that minimizing cardiovascular risk factors in midlife may help to prevent ADRD or delay its onset later in life.
Dr. Derby is a research professor in the Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology and in the department of epidemiology & population health and is the Louis and Gertrude Feil Faculty Scholar in Neurology at Einstein. She is principal investigator of the Einstein site of the National Institutes of Health-funded SWAN study underway at seven clinical centers across the United States.
Posted on: Wednesday, May 05, 2021