TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Having a greater number of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors at recommended levels is associated with higher cerebral vessel density and caliber, higher cerebral blood flow, and fewer white matter hyperintensities among young adults without clinical evidence of cerebrovascular disease, according to a study published in the Aug. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Wilby Williamson, B.M.B.S., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the correlation between modifiable cardiovascular risk factors and cerebrovascular structure, function, and white matter integrity in a cross-sectional observational study of 125 young adults (aged 18 to 40 years) without cerebrovascular disease.

Participants had a mean score of 6.0 modifiable cardiovascular risk factors at recommended levels. The researchers found that in multivariable models, there was a correlation for cardiovascular risk factors with cerebrovascular morphology and white matter hyperintensity count. Vessel density was 0.3 vessels/cm³ greater, vessel caliber was 8 µm greater, and white matter hyperintensity lesions were fewer by 1.6 lesions for each additional modifiable risk factor. In a subgroup of 52 patients who underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging, cerebral blood flow varied with vessel density and was 2.5 mL/100 g/min higher for each healthier category of a modifiable risk factor.

“Further research is needed to verify these findings and determine their clinical importance,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biotechnology and health care industries.

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