The American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 cardiovascular (CV) score comprises four behavioral measures (smoking, diet, exercise, and body-mass index) and three biological measures (fasting glucose level, blood cholesterol level, and blood pressure), each coded as 0, 1, or 2. Higher total score predicts lower risks for diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke. In this prospective study, researchers determined the association between the Life’s Simple 7 score and risk for dementia.
Participants were ≈8000 British civil servants (32% women) free from dementia who underwent assessment of the Life’s Simple 7 score at age 50. Participants were categorized as having poor (score, ≤6), intermediate (score, 7–11), or optimal (score, 12–14) CV health. During a median follow-up of 25 years, the incidence of dementia among participants with poor CV health was significantly higher than the incidences among those with intermediate and optimal CV health (3.2 vs. 1.8 and 1.5 per 1000 person-years). After adjustment for multiple variables, incidence of dementia remained significantly higher in the group with poor CV health. This association also was observed among participants who remained free of CV disease during follow-up.
The authors concluded that ‘”adherence to the Life Simple 7 ideal cardiovascular health recommendations in midlife was associated with a lower risk of dementia later in life”.
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Source: NEJM Journal Watch