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Home Industry News Heart health ‘linked with better mental function in later life’

Heart health ‘linked with better mental function in later life’

1st April 2014

Young people could be at a greater chance of staying mentally sharp in later life by paying attention to their cardiovascular health.

A 25-year study from the University of California – San Francisco involving 3,381 people has revealed that those with blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels slightly higher recommended guidelines tend to score lower on cognitive function tests in their 40s and 50s.

People who suffered from poor heart health between the ages of 18 and 30 scored lower on tests measuring memory, thinking speed and mental flexibility, most likely due to the narrowing of the arteries leading to and in the brain.

This is one of the first comprehensive long-term studies looking at key heart disease and stroke risk factors' effects on cognitive function in this age group.

Study author Dr Kristine Yaffe, a neuropsychiatrist, epidemiologist and professor at the University of California – San Francisco, said: "Our study is hopeful, because it tells us we could maybe make a dent in the risks of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by emphasising the importance of controlling risk factors among younger people."

In the UK, coronary heart disease is the country's biggest killer, causing around 82,000 deaths each year.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801708909-ADNFCR

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