NashvilleHealth | Heart Disease Risk in Middle Age Tied to Dementia Later

Heart Disease Risk in Middle Age Tied to Dementia Later

By Lisa Rapaport

Reuters Health – Middle-aged people with risk factors for heart attacks and stroke may be more likely to develop dementia in old age than people with healthy cardiovascular systems, a U.S. study suggests.

Like previous research, the current study linked so-called vascular risk factors such as diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure to higher odds of dementia. However, the study also found an increased risk of dementia for older adults who had only slightly elevated blood pressure in middle age, a condition known as prehypertension.

“This study showed associations, but doesn’t prove that treating risk factors actually decreases risk,” said lead study author Dr. Rebecca Gottesman of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

“That being said, we know that it is important otherwise for your heart and brain health to control obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and to quit smoking,” Gottesman said by email. “It is likely that controlling these over time is helpful for reducing dementia risk.”

Read the full story on Reuters.

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