MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Cécilia Samieri, PhD
Université de Bordeaux, INSERM
Bordeaux Population Health Research Center
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Previous research has demonstrated that heart diseases and brain diseases share common risk factors. Favorable health factors (optimal levels of BMI, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol) and behaviors (non smoking, physical activity and diet at optimal levels), which are known to protect the heart, have also been associated with a lower risk of age-related brain diseases (eg, dementia) and lower rate of cognitive decline in some epidemiological studies. However, studies have been controversial and importantly, very limited research has considered risk factors simultaneously. This may be an explanation for the lack of established consensus for recommendations aimed at dementia prevention.
This study adds to previous knowledge by evaluating cardiovascular health factors and behaviors simultaneously in relation to cognitive decline and the risk of dementia in older age. We used the American Heart Association 7-item tool to promote primordial prevention, which aims to prevent the developement of risk factors in a first place as a prevention strategy against cardiovascular diseases.
We found that each additional favorable health factor/behavior was associated with a 10% lower risk to develop dementia in the following decade.
These findings support the promotion if cardiovascular health to prevent the development of risk factors associated with dementia.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: When considering cardiovascular health, each additional improvement of the level of one or several health factors/behaviors is associated with a lower risk opf dementia and less cognitive decline.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Evaluate the change in risk factors over time as well was possible differential weighting of the factors in relation to dementia risk.
Samieri C, Perier M, Gaye B, et al. Association of Cardiovascular Health Level in Older Age With Cognitive Decline and Incident Dementia. JAMA. 2018;320(7):657–664. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.11499
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