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Do cardiometabolic diseases increase the risk of dementia?

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June 23, 2022
By
Agnieszka Szmitkowska, Ph.D.

The cardiometabolic diseases were independently associated with the risk of dementia and visible brain imaging differences far more than was a genetic risk.

Genetic factors and cardiometabolic disorders such as stroke, diabetes, and myocardial infarction are related to a higher risk of dementia. Unfortunately, the details of this relationship are still unclear.

The team of Tai et al. from the University of Oxford researched the connection between cardiometabolic multimorbidity and risk of dementia, regardless of genetic risk, and looked for associated brain structural changes.

The team examined health and genetic data from over 200000 UK Biobank participants. The UK Biobank is a population-based cohort of more than half a million participants aged 40–73 years who underwent assessment across the UK between 2006 and 2010. All participants were of European ancestry, aged 60 years or older, without dementia at baseline assessment, and they were followed for a decade. For each participant, they calculated the cardiometabolic multimorbidity index (CMI) (stroke, diabetes, and myocardial infarction: 1 point for each) and dementia polygenic risk score (dividing into low, intermediate, and high-risk groups). The scientists followed with measures of incident all-cause dementia and brain structural changes.

The dementia risk related to high cardiometabolic multimorbidity was three times higher than the one related to high genetic risk. Another finding was that participants with high genetic risk and a CMI above two had a higher risk of developing dementia than those with low genetic risk and no cardiometabolic conditions. Lastly, the team found no relationship between cardiometabolic multimorbidity and polygenic risk. Lower hippocampal volume and total grey matter volume were independently associated with cardiometabolic multimorbidity.

To sum up, the cardiometabolic diseases were independently associated with the risk of dementia and visible brain imaging differences far more than was a genetic risk. Preventive measures for cardiometabolic multimorbidity might help reduce the risk of dementia, regardless of genetic risk.

Source: Tai, Xin You, et al. "Cardiometabolic multimorbidity, genetic risk, and dementia: a prospective cohort study." The Lancet Healthy Longevity 3.6 (2022): e428-e436.

Genetic factors and cardiometabolic disorders such as stroke, diabetes, and myocardial infarction are related to a higher risk of dementia. Unfortunately, the details of this relationship are still unclear.

The team of Tai et al. from the University of Oxford researched the connection between cardiometabolic multimorbidity and risk of dementia, regardless of genetic risk, and looked for associated brain structural changes.

The team examined health and genetic data from over 200000 UK Biobank participants. The UK Biobank is a population-based cohort of more than half a million participants aged 40–73 years who underwent assessment across the UK between 2006 and 2010. All participants were of European ancestry, aged 60 years or older, without dementia at baseline assessment, and they were followed for a decade. For each participant, they calculated the cardiometabolic multimorbidity index (CMI) (stroke, diabetes, and myocardial infarction: 1 point for each) and dementia polygenic risk score (dividing into low, intermediate, and high-risk groups). The scientists followed with measures of incident all-cause dementia and brain structural changes.

The dementia risk related to high cardiometabolic multimorbidity was three times higher than the one related to high genetic risk. Another finding was that participants with high genetic risk and a CMI above two had a higher risk of developing dementia than those with low genetic risk and no cardiometabolic conditions. Lastly, the team found no relationship between cardiometabolic multimorbidity and polygenic risk. Lower hippocampal volume and total grey matter volume were independently associated with cardiometabolic multimorbidity.

To sum up, the cardiometabolic diseases were independently associated with the risk of dementia and visible brain imaging differences far more than was a genetic risk. Preventive measures for cardiometabolic multimorbidity might help reduce the risk of dementia, regardless of genetic risk.

Source: Tai, Xin You, et al. "Cardiometabolic multimorbidity, genetic risk, and dementia: a prospective cohort study." The Lancet Healthy Longevity 3.6 (2022): e428-e436.

Article reviewed by
Dr. Ana Baroni MD. Ph.D.
SCIENTIFIC & MEDICAL ADVISOR
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Dr. Ana Baroni MD. Ph.D.

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Ana has over 20 years of consultancy experience in longevity, regenerative and precision medicine. She has a multifaceted understanding of genomics, molecular biology, clinical biochemistry, nutrition, aging markers, hormones and physical training. This background allows her to bridge the gap between longevity basic sciences and evidence-based real interventions, putting them into the clinic, to enhance the healthy aging of people. She is co-founder of Origen.life, and Longevityzone. Board member at Breath of Health, BioOx and American Board of Clinical Nutrition. She is Director of International Medical Education of the American College of Integrative Medicine, Professor in IL3 Master of Longevity at Barcelona University and Professor of Nutrigenomics in Nutrition Grade in UNIR University.

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