Cardiovascular risk factors and dementia

Cardiovascular risk factors also associated with dementia

The risk factors – smoking, serum cholesterol, blood pressure, lung function and the presence of CVD at baseline – were associated with death from dementia. The risk was 58% greater for heavy compared to non-smokers, 55% greater for hypertensives compared to those with normal blood pressure, 73% greater for those with a high level of serum cholesterol, 46% lower for those with a high compared to a low lung function and 94% greater for those with a history of CVD at baseline compared to those with no such history. Men with a combination of two of the risk factors had a 2 times greater risk of death from dementia. These results suggest that that cardiovascular risk factors measured in midlife predict the risk of death with dementia.

Cardiovascular risk factors measured in the Seven Countries Study

Cardiovascular risk factors were measured at baseline and 160 out of 10,211 middle-aged men died from dementia during 40 years of follow-up. The results of the SCS suggest that cardiovascular risk factors affect the neurodegenerative process leading to dementia.

More about mental health, cognitive decline & depression

Lifestyle, diet and optimism

A healthy diet, especially eating more fruit, vegetables, and whole grain bread was related to a higher level of optimism.

Nutrient intake and depressive symptoms

The results suggest that in contrast to the intake of B-vitamins, a high intake of the fish fatty acids EPA-DHA was associated with a low risk of depressive symptoms.