Early heart disease linked to poor brain health in middle age: Study

According to new research published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, people with early cardiovascular disease might be more likely to have memory and thinking problems, as well as poor brain health in middle age. “Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke have been associated with an increased risk for cognitive impairment and dementia in older adults, but less is known about how having these diseases before age 60 impacts cognition and brain health over the course of life,” said study author Xiaqing Jiang, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco. “Our study found that cardiovascular events earlier in life are associated with worse cognition, accelerated cognitive decline and poor brain health in middle age.” The study looked at 3,146 people. Participants were 18 to 30 years old at the start of the study and were followed for up to 30 years. By the end of the study, they had an average age of 55. Of the total participants, 147, or 5%, were diagnosed with early cardiovascular disease, which was defined as having coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, carotid artery disease or peripheral artery disease before age 60. The average age for a first cardiovascular event was age 48.ac