Higher Risk of Dementia Associated With Midlife Vascular Risk Factors

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 Risk factors for dementia include black race, older age, and lower educational attainment, as well as midlife vascular risk factors.
Risk factors for dementia include black race, older age, and lower educational attainment, as well as midlife vascular risk factors.

HealthDay News — Risk factors for dementia include black race, older age, and lower educational attainment, as well as midlife vascular risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and hypertension, according to a study published online in JAMA Neurology.

Rebecca F. Gottesman, MD, PhD, from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort investigation of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study conducted from 1987 to 1989 through 2011 to 2013. A total of 15,744 participants aged 44 to 66 years at baseline were included in the study.

The researchers identified 1516 cases of dementia among 15,744 participants. Increased risk of dementia was seen in association with black race (hazard ratio, 1.36), older age (hazard ratio, 8.06 for participants aged 60 to 66 years), lower educational attainment (hazard ratio, 1.61 for less than a high school education), and APOE ε4 genotype (hazard ratio, 1.98). 

Increased risk of dementia was also seen for midlife smoking (hazard ratio, 1.41), diabetes (hazard ratio, 1.77), prehypertension (hazard ratio, 1.31), and hypertension (hazard ratio, 1.39).

"Midlife vascular risk factors are associated with increased risk of dementia in black and white ARIC Study participants," the authors write. "Further studies are needed to evaluate the mechanism of and opportunities for prevention of the cognitive sequelae of these risk factors in midlife."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Reference

Gottesman RF, Albert MS, Alonso A, et al. Associations between midlife vascular risk factors and 25-year incident dementia in the atherosclerosis risk in communities (ARIC) cohort [published online August 7, 2017]. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1658



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