Abstract P328: Effects of Subclinical Disease on Cognitive Function across Age in African Americans
Objectives: Determine relationships between calcification and cognitive function.
Background: Dementia affects over 5.4 million Americans; prevalence will quadruple in the next 50 years. Coronary artery calcification (CAC), a measure of subclinical atherosclerosis, may affect cognitive function through microvascular brain effects. Abdominal aortoiliac calcification (AAC) generally precedes CAC and may provide earlier risk determination. Effects of calcification on cognition have not been studied in African Americans (AA).
Methods: The 2008-2011 GENOA CAC cohort consists of AA sibships (n=657, mean age 69 [range 40-98], 74% women, 82% hypertensive) enriched with hypertension from Jackson, MS with computed tomography (CT) Agatston calcification measures. Cognition was assessed in 4 domains: global cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination); processing speed (Digit Symbol Substitution and Trail Making A); memory (RAVLT and WAIS-III Incidental Learning); and executive function (Trail Making B). Relationships of cognition (standardized) and calcification (log base 2 scale accounting for skewness) were examined using linear regressions with GEE to account for sibship clustering, adjusting parsimoniously for age, sex, and education.
Results: Doublings of CAC were significantly associated with poorer processing speed (ß=-0.049 [-0.072, -0.025] p=0.000) and executive function (ß=-0.037 [-0.070, -0.003] p=0.031) in younger subjects and with poorer global function (ß=-0.0648 [-0.096, -0.020] p=0.000), memory (ß=-0.034 [-0.060, -0.007] p=0.013), and processing speed (ß=-0.051 [-0.076, -0.025] p=0.000) in older subjects. Doublings of AAC were significantly associated with poorer processing speed (ß=-0.0381 [-0.056, -0.020] p=0.000) and executive function (ß=-0.045 [-0.070, -0.020] p=0.000) in younger subjects and poorer processing speed (ß=-0.050 [-0.075, -0.025] p=0.000) in older subjects.
Conclusions: Calcification is associated with processing speed in young and old AA with prevalent cardiovascular risk factors and may be differentially associated with other cognitive domains by age. Processing speed in particular may be a domain affected early in the calcification process, warranting further study. This supports existing literature addressing the relationship between calcification and cognitive function in ethnically diverse cohorts. Further studies can focus on the temporal and causal relationships between calcification and cognition across age in AA samples enriched for hypertension to identify predictive factors associated with future cognitive decline.
Author Disclosures: J.M. Bridges: None. M.E. Griswold: None. B.N. Simpson: None. P.A. Peyser: None. L.F. Bielak: None. S.T. Turner: None. S.T. Lirette: None. T.H. Mosley: None. B. Windham: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.