Better Cardiovascular Health in Midlife Linked to Lower Risk of Dementia
The Life Simple 7 cardiovascular health score includes four behavioral metrics (smoking, diet, physical activity, and body mass index) and three biological metrics (fasting glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure). According to a recent study, a higher Life Simple 7 score in midlife is associated with a lower risk of dementia later in life.
Participants included 7,899 adults who took part in the Whitehall II Study. All of the participants were free of cardiovascular disease and dementia at the age of 50, when their cardiovascular data was collected. The participants were followed for an average of 25 years, and all cases of dementia were recorded.
Participants with the lowest Life Simple 7 scores had an incidence rate of dementia of 3.2 per 1,000 person years. Participants with an intermediate score had an incidence rate of dementia of 1.8 per 1,000 person years and those with the highest score had an incident rate of 1.3 per 1,000 person years. A higher cardiovascular score in middle age was also associated with higher whole brain and grey matter volumes 20 years later.
The study was conducted by researchers from Oxford University and the University of Paris. It was published online ahead of print on August 7, 2019 in the journal The BMJ.