WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Having an ideal or intermediate level of global cardiovascular health (CVH) metrics from midlife to later in life is associated with a reduced risk for dementia, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in PLOS Medicine.

Yajun Liang, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the association of composite CVH metrics with the risk for incident dementia in a cohort study involving 1,449 individuals from the Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia study who were followed from midlife (baseline, 1972 to 1987) to late life (1998); 744 dementia-free survivors were followed into later life (2005 to 2008).

The researchers found that the fully adjusted hazard ratio of dementia was 0.25 and 0.14, respectively, for those with intermediate global CVH metrics in both midlife and late life and for those with ideal global CVH metrics in midlife and intermediate metrics in late life compared with those with poor global CVH metrics in both midlife and late life. There was a significant association for having an intermediate or ideal level of behavioral CVH in both midlife and late life versus a poor level in both midlife and late life with lower dementia risk (hazard ratio range, 0.03 to 0.26).

“Findings from this study reinforce the view that maintaining a life-long optimal CVH profile, and behavioral health profile in particular, may help reduce the late-life risk of dementia,” the authors write.

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