Cardiovascular condition and risk factor information were obtained using the population-based Rochester Epidemiology Project. Conditions included coronary artery disease, heart rhythm disorders, congestive heart failure, peripheral artery disease and stroke. Risk factors included high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity. About 79% of the participants, or 1,465, had at least one cardiovascular risk factor or condition — 83% of men, compared to 75% of women.
The study found most cardiovascular conditions were more strongly associated with cognitive function among women. The annual decline for global cognition associated with coronary artery disease, for example, was more than two times greater for women than men.
In addition, diabetes, high cholesterol and coronary artery disease were associated with greater language decline in women. However, congestive heart failure was associated with greater language decline in men.
It is important to understand sex differences in the development of cognitive impairment to enhance the health of women and men, Dr. Mielke says. Middle-aged adults, especially women with a history of heart disease, may represent critical subgroups for early monitoring. Additional research is needed across the life span to examine potential mechanisms explaining sex differences in the relationship between cardiovascular factors and cognition, such as hormones, genetics, lifestyle and psychosocial factors, Dr. Mielke says.
The research is published in “Neurology”.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Source: Healthcare in Europe