Cardiometabolic burden has additive effect on cognitive function
medwireNews: A cross-sectional analysis of the UK Biobank cohort suggests that the more cardiometabolic diseases people have in middle-age, the worse their cognitive abilities are likely to be.
Baseline data for 478,557 participants (aged 40–70 years) revealed that the presence of diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, or combinations of these was associated with significantly poorer test scores for reasoning and reaction time and, to an extent, for visual memory.
“Clinically, the recognition of dementia into older age can be somewhat weighted towards decline in memory, and this may lead to under-recognition of cognitive disorders in cardiovascular disorders,” write Donald Lyall (University of Glasgow, UK) and study co-authors in the European Heart Journal.
Most associations remained significant, although often attenuated, after accounting for factors likely to mediate them, such as alcohol intake and body mass index. And the team found a clear dose-response effect, with cognitive performance declining with increasing number of cardiometabolic diseases.
The researchers describe the effect as “modest yet significant,” especially given that most participants were middle-aged. They add that future analysis of the Biobank cohort could reveal whether cardiometabolic disease is also predictive of impending cognitive decline.
medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016