Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart health as young adult linked to mental function in mid-life

Date:
March 31, 2014
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Having blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels slightly higher than the recommended guidelines in early adulthood is associated with lower cognitive function in mid-life. "Our study is hopeful, because it tells us we could maybe make a dent in the risks of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by emphasizing the importance of controlling risk factors among younger people," researchers state.

Being heart healthy as a young adult may increase your chance of staying mentally sharp in mid-life, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

In a 25-year study on 3,381 people, 18- to 30-years-old, those with blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels slightly higher than the Association's recommended guidelines, scored lower on cognitive function tests in their 40s and 50s. Standardized scores on three cognitive tests were between 0.06 to 0.30 points less, on average, for each standard deviation increase in cumulative exposure to these risk factors, which the researchers considered significant for this age group. Standard deviation is the amount of variation from the average.

"It's amazing that as a young adult, mildly elevated cardiovascular risks seem to matter for your brain health later in life," said Kristine Yaffe, M.D., study author and a neuropsychiatrist, epidemiologist and professor at the University of California-San Francisco. "We're not talking about old age issues, but lifelong issues."

This is one of the first comprehensive long-term studies looking at key heart disease and stroke risk factors' effects on cognitive function in this age group. Prior research showed similar effects of mid-life and late-life cardiovascular health on brainpower in late life.

The study was part of the ongoing multi-center Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Participants had their blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and cholesterol levels checked every two to five years. Researchers analyzed each person's cumulative cardiovascular health over 25 years. The American Heart Association defines ideal cardiovascular health as systolic blood pressure <120 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure <80 mm Hg, blood sugar <100 mg/dL, and cholesterol < 200 mg/dL.

At the end of the study, participants took three tests measuring memory, thinking speed and mental flexibility.

Elevated blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are three major risk factors for atherosclerosis, the slow narrowing of arteries caused by a build-up of plaque in the artery walls leading to the brain and heart.

The narrowing of the arteries leading to and in the brain is the most likely explanation for the link between cardiovascular health and cognitive function, Yaffe said.

"Our study is hopeful, because it tells us we could maybe make a dent in the risks of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by emphasizing the importance of controlling risk factors among younger people," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Yaffe, E. Vittinghoff, M. J. Pletcher, T. Hoang, L. Launer, R. Whitmer, L. H. Coker, S. Sidney. Early Adult to Mid-Life Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Cognitive Function. Circulation, 2014; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.004798

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Heart health as young adult linked to mental function in mid-life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331170542.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2014, March 31). Heart health as young adult linked to mental function in mid-life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331170542.htm
American Heart Association. "Heart health as young adult linked to mental function in mid-life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331170542.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins