Abstract 2643: Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and Cognitive Function Among Different Racial/Ethnic Populations in the United States
As the American population ages, cognitive impairment is becoming an increasingly important public health concern. Cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension and diabetes, have been associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. The relationship of the metabolic syndrome to cognitive impairment is not well defined. The hypothesis of the present study was that risk factors comprising the metabolic syndrome increase the risk of cognitive impairment and that these risks may be accentuated in minority populations. A cross-sectional analysis of 3701 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 –2002 (NHANES) who had WHO clinical criteria for the metabolic syndrome measures was conducted. The WHO criteria include insulin resistance (Type 2 diabetes) plus two of the following criteria: high blood pressure (systolic blood pressure >140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure >90 mm Hg), BMI >30 kg/m2, low HDL or elevated urinary albumin concentration. Cognitive impairment was defined by the Digit Symbol Substitution test (DSST). DSST scores indicative of significant cognitive impairment correlated most closely with systolic or diastolic hypertension and increased urinary albumin for females and systolic hypertension and increased urinary albumin for males. Cognitive impairment was associated with the metabolic syndrome (Odds ratio, OR=1.55, p=0.03), African American race (OR=2.52, p=0.0002), Mexican American ethnicity (OR=2.68, p=0.0001), male gender (OR=1.04, p=0.03), prior stroke (OR=1.34 –3.03, p=0.0001), age >75 (OR=1.73, p=0.03) decreased physical activity (OR=0.53, p=0.0007 ), education and income. In conclusion, the presence of the metabolic syndrome as well as individual components of the metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. Further work will be required to determine if aggressive therapy of the metabolic syndrome can reduce the likelihood of developing cognitive impairment.