Facebook Pixel

Early Memory Problems Linked to Heart Disease Risk Factors

By Blogger
Rate This
Coronary Artery Disease related image Photo: Getty Images

Everyone experiences them at one time or another - - temporary memory lapses. You open the refrigerator door only to forget what you wanted. Or, perhaps you lose the car keys only to find that they were in your pocket the entire time. Most of us chalk such temporary lapses up to stress or perhaps even make a few jokes about getting old. After all, isn’t memory loss just a normal part of aging? As it turns out, early memory and cognitive problems may be more than normal aging or stress. It could be a signal that you have a deeper health issue – cardiovascular disease.

Researchers with INSERM, the French National Institute of Health & Medical Research in Paris, released findings from their examination of the results of the Whitehall II study. The original Whitehall study began in 1967 and examined the cardiovascular health of more than 18,000 British civil servants. Whitehall II was a smaller study consisting of over 10,000 participants. For purposes of this study, the French researchers examined the results of 4,827 participants representing 3,486 men and 1,341 women. While the ages of participants varied, the average was 55 years.

During the course of the study, participants were given three cognition tests. The cognition tests examined participants’ responses in areas such as reasoning, fluency, vocabulary, and memory. Participants were also given a Framingham risk score for cardiovascular (heart) events. The Framingham risk score is a weighted measurement that predicts the likelihood of whether or not you’ll suffer a cardiovascular event over the next 10 years. Risk factors for heart disease such as age, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels (total and high-density lipoprotein or HDL), sex, and age are all weighted. The resulting score predicts your future susceptibility to a cardiovascular event.

Researchers found a direct correlation between the amount of cardiovascular risk and cognitive function and decline in cognitive function. Participants with the highest risk factors for heart disease were found to have much lower cognitive functions than their counterparts who were at low risk for cardiovascular events.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Coronary Artery Disease

Get Email Updates

Coronary Artery Disease Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!