Cardiovascular health through young adulthood and cognitive functioning in midlife
Version of Record online: 26 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2012 American Neurological Association
Annals of Neurology
Volume 73, Issue 2, pages 170–179, February 2013
How to Cite
Reis, J. P., Loria, C. M., Launer, L. J., Sidney, S., Liu, K., Jacobs, D. R., Zhu, N., Lloyd-Jones, D. M., He, K. and Yaffe, K. (2013), Cardiovascular health through young adulthood and cognitive functioning in midlife. Ann Neurol., 73: 170–179. doi: 10.1002/ana.23836
- Issue online: 22 MAR 2013
- Version of Record online: 26 FEB 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 DEC 2012 04:57AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 29 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 2 JUL 2012
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Grant Numbers: N01-HC95095, N01-HC48047
- Kaiser Foundation Research Institute. Grant Number: N01-HC48050
- Northwestern University. Grant Number: N01-HC48049
- University of Minnesota. Grant Number: N01-HC48048
A study was undertaken to examine the association between overall cardiovascular health as recently defined by the American Heart Association in young adulthood to middle age and cognitive function in midlife. Overall ideal cardiovascular health incorporates 7 metrics, including the avoidance of overweight or obesity, a healthful diet, nonsmoking, and physical activity, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting glucose at goal levels.
This analysis of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, a multicenter community-based study with 25 years of follow-up, included 2,932 participants aged 18 to 30 years at baseline (year 0) who attended follow-up examinations at years 7 and 25. Cardiovascular health metrics were measured at each examination. The Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), modified Stroop test, and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) were completed at year 25.
A greater number of ideal cardiovascular metrics in young adulthood and middle age were independently associated with better cognitive function in midlife (p for trend < 0.01, for all). Specifically, each additional ideal metric was associated with 1.32 more symbols on the DSST (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.93 – 1.71), a 0.77-point lower interference score on the Stroop test (95% CI=−1.03 to −0.45), and 0.12 more words on the RAVLT (95% CI = 0.04 to 0.20). Participants who had ≥5 ideal metrics at a greater number of the 3 examinations over the 25-year period exhibited better performance on each cognitive test in middle age (p for trend < 0.01, for all).
Ideal cardiovascular health in young adulthood and its maintenance to middle age is associated with better psychomotor speed, executive function, and verbal memory in midlife. ANN NEUROL 2013;73:170–179