Abstract 17467: High Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Risk Factor Profile in Young-Middle Age is Associated with Poorer Cognitive Performance in Older Age - Preliminary Results from The Chicago Healthy Aging Study/Sleep and Cardiovascular Health Study (CHAS/SCHS)
Introduction: Previous studies have demonstrated that poorer cognitive performance is associated with major CVD risk factors (RF) including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoking, and diabetes. Insufficient data exist regarding the relationship of CVD RFs earlier in life with cognitive performance or specific cognitive domains later in life. Objective:To examine whether having a high CVD risk profile in young adulthood or middle age is associated with cognitive performance domains essential to the safe execution of activities of daily living in older age.
Methods:The sample consisted of 96 CHAS/SCHS participants (33% women) ages 25-43 with a mean education of 16.4±2.3 at baseline examination (1967-73). Participants (mean age 71.1± at follow-up) were categorized into 2 groups based on baseline CVD RF as 0 RF High or 1 or more RF High, i.e., high blood pressure, elevated serum total cholesterol, smoking, and/or diabetes. Cognitive performance was assessed in a sleep lab at follow-up examination (2009-12) 2 hours after awakening using the Automated Neurosychological Assessment Metric and include simple reaction time (SRT), executive functioning (Stroop Color Word Test, STR), working memory (continuous performance task, CPT), and memory (word pairs association task, WPAT). A throughput (TP) measure was calculated for the SRT, STR, and CPT.
Results: With adjustment for age, sex, and education, means for the 4 cognitive performance measures were lower (poorer cognition) for participants with 1 or more High RF compared to those with 0 RF High (Table). Differences were significant for SRT and STR and marginally significant for CPT and WPAT.
Conclusions:These data suggest that having high levels of 1 or more CVD RF in young-middle age is associated with poorer cognitive performance in older age. Thus, interventions focusing on the prevention of developing CVD risk factors earlier in life may have beneficial impact on cognitive performance later in life.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.