Abstract P046: What’s Good for the Heart is Good for the Mind: Neurocognitive Function and American Heart Association (AHA) Life’s Simple 7’s: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)
BACKGROUND: Favorable levels of 7 CVD risk factors or health behaviors: cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, not smoking, exercise, and healthy diet (aka: AHA Life’s Simple 7’s, LS7) have been associated with lower risk of CVD outcomes. The association between LS7’s and neurocognitive function among Hispanic/Latinos has not been previously reported.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data from the HCHS/SOL, a multisite (Bronx, Chicago, Miami and San Diego) population study of participants from Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central or South American backgrounds (45- to 74-years old; N=9,593) were analyzed to examine association between LS7 and neurocognitive functioning scores. Neurocognitive functioning was measured using a well-known neuropsychological test battery assessing global cognition, verbal learning and memory, language function, and working memory and psychomotor processing speed (Table 1), which has been validated in Hispanics/Latinos. Tests were performed in the respondents’ preferred language (Spanish or English). LS7 was examined using the sum total score of 7 indicators ( range 0-14) generated to reflect AHA criteria (poor=0, intermediate=1, and ideal health=2).
RESULTS: There were significant associations between LS7’s total scores and each HCHS/SOL neurocognitive test (p<0.01). The mean neurocognitive scores as well as the tests’ predicted at two set LS7 values (min.=0 and max.=14) are presented in Table 1. All associations remained consistently statistically significant for each HCHS/SOL neurocognitive test (p<0.01), and only partially attenuated after controlling for age, sex, education, ethnicity and language.
CONCLUSIONS: Among Hispanic/Latinos in the HCHS/SOL, higher total LS7’s scores were associated with better brain function. If healthy heart behaviors can forestall or even prevent heart disease and neurocognitive decline among Hispanic/Latinos, the public health benefits may be substantial.
Table 1. Average and predicted cognitive performance by LS7 score among HCHS/SOL participants (N=9,593 ages 45 to 74). a Predicted values/probabilities are based on unadjusted regression models. The presented predicted values are based on the minimum and maximum values of the main predictor (LS7: min=0; max=14).
b The Six-Item Screener (SIS) is dichotomized (cut-point=4) to reflect low mental status.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.