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Study reveals link between cardiovascular risk and cognitive decline

seen as an additional impetus for the prevention and treatment the metabolic syndrome. "What if you identified these people [with the syndrome] and you say, 'You've got this constellation of problems. It would be really good if you lost weight and really carefully monitored your blood pressure and your glucose [and other risk factors], because otherwise, not only are you at risk for heart attacks, but you might be at risk for dementia.' And seeing whether you can modify that trajectory by getting people to exercise, lose weight, and possibly reduce inflammation."

The study draws no conclusions about the possible causes of cognitive decline in the presence of the metabolic syndrome and high inflammation. Interactions between the syndrome and inflammation are not yet clearly understood.

The study observed 2,632 elders with a mean age of 74 at community clinics in Memphis, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2002. The study did not distinguish between cognitive decline related to Alzheimer's disease and decline caused by stroke. Dr. Yaffe hopes to explore that difference in future research.

Other researchers who participated in the study were Dr. Alka Kanaya of the department of medicine and Karla Lindquist of the department of geriatrics at University of California, San Francisco, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Ph.D. and Dr. Tamara Harris of the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Ronald I. Shorr and Frances A. Tylavsky, Ph.D. of the department of preventive medicine at the University of Tennessee at Memphis, and Dr. Anne B. Newman of the department of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.


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Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
jobrien@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
9-Nov-2004


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