A new study published online January 25, 2023 found that people with early cardiovascular disease may have memory and thinking problems and brain health may deteriorate in middle age. can be higher. neurology®the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“Cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke, is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in older adults, but those with these conditions before age 60 are associated with lifelong cognitive and brain health problems. “We don’t know much about how it affects the body,” said the study’s author, Xiaqing Jiang, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco. “Our study found that cardiovascular events early in life were associated with lower midlife cognitive decline, accelerated cognitive decline, and worsening brain health. .”
The study examined 3,146 people. Participants were followed for up to 30 years, from when he was 18 years old at the start of the study to when he was 30 years old. At the end of the survey, their average age was he was 55.
Of all participants, 147, or 5%, were diagnosed with early cardiovascular disease. This was defined as having coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, carotid artery disease, or peripheral artery disease before he was 60 years of age. The mean age of first cardiovascular event was 48 years.
After being followed for 30 years, participants underwent five cognitive tests. This test measured thinking and memory skills, including global cognition, processing speed, executive function, verbal memory delay, and verbal fluency.
Researchers found that people with early cardiovascular disease performed worse on five out of five tests than those without. On the list recall test, those with early cardiovascular disease had an average score of 6.4 compared to those without, and an average score of 8.5. On a test assessing global cognition with scores ranging from 0 to 30, people with early cardiovascular disease had a mean score of 23.9 compared with a mean score of 23.9 for those without cardiovascular disease. was 21.4. A score of 26 or higher is considered typical, but the average score for people with mild cognitive impairment is 22.
Of the total participants, 656 underwent brain scans to determine white matter hyperintensity and white matter integrity. White matter hyperintensity usually indicates vascular damage to the white matter of the brain. After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension, the researchers found that early cardiovascular disease was associated with increased white matter hyperintensity in the brain and average white matter diffusion, indicating decreased brain tissue integrity. found to be associated with an increase in rate.
For participants who underwent two sets of cognitive tests at 25 and 30 years after the study, the researchers found that early cardiovascular disease was three times more likely to accelerate cognitive decline over 5 years, and early found that 13% of people with cardiovascular disease experienced accelerated cognitive decline. compared to 5% of people without the disease.
“Our research suggests that the 20s and 30s are a critical time to start protecting brain health through cardiovascular disease prevention and intervention.” It can delay the onset of cognitive decline and promote a healthier brain throughout life.”
A limitation of this study is that no cognitive tests were performed at the beginning of the study.
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Aging, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Northwestern University, the University of Minnesota, and the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute.