Several heart-related conditions are associated with a triple risk of dementia, regardless of genetics.

Summary: People with cardiometabolic disorders such as stroke, diabetes, or heart attack have a higher risk of developing dementia, either on their own or as a combination of conditions, regardless of their genetic predisposition to neurodegeneration.

A source: University of Exeter

According to a large-scale new study, having multiple conditions that affect the heart is associated with a greater risk of dementia than a genetic risk.

The study, led by the University of Oxford and the University of Exeter, is one of the largest studies examining the link between multiple conditions associated with the heart and dementia, and one of several studies examining the complexities of several health conditions.

Published Lancet Health Longevity, The paper looked at data from more than 200,000 people over the age of 60 and of European descent in the UK’s Biobank. An international research team has identified patients with diabetes mellitus, stroke or heart attack, or any combination of the three, and those who have developed dementia.

In this study population, the researchers found that the more of these three conditions in a person, the higher their risk of dementia. People with all three conditions were three times more likely to have dementia than people with a genetic risk.

Dr. Xin Yu Tai, Oxford University’s co-author and doctoral student, said: “Dementia is a major global problem, and it is estimated that by 2050, 135 million people worldwide will be devastated.

“We found that having such a heart condition is more closely linked to the risk of dementia than a genetic risk. So no matter what genetic risk you were born with, you can have a greater impact on reducing your risk of dementia by taking care of your heart and metabolic health throughout your life.” .

A team from the University of Glasgow and the University of Michigan found that nearly 20,000 participants from the UK’s Biobank, which they studied, were found with one of three conditions. A little over 2,000 had two conditions, and 122 had all three.

Professor David Llewellin, senior author and professor of clinical epidemiology and clinical health at the University of Exeter, said: “Many studies consider the risk of a disease related to dementia, but health is even more complex. We know that many patients have a number of conditions.

“Our research shows that for people diagnosed with diabetes, stroke or heart attack, it is especially important to take care of their health and provide proper treatment, prevent further problems, and reduce their risk of dementia. . ”

The team divided 200,000 participants into three categories of genetic risk, based on a comprehensive risk score that reflected several genetic risk traits related to individuals of European descent.

They also obtained descriptive brain data for more than 12,000 participants and found common brain damage for people with more than one cardiometabolic condition. However, high genetic risk is associated with deterioration in only certain parts of the brain.

Dr. Kenneth M. Langa, author of the study, a professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, and Anne Arbor, a veteran of the health care system, said: “Our research shows that lifelong protection of the heart has significant benefits for the brain. To take care of your heart, you can exercise regularly, eat right, and do everything you can to keep your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels within your guidelines.

Dr. Sarah Imarisio, Head of Alzheimer’s Research in the United Kingdom, said: “It is clear that what is good for your heart is good for your head. The risk of developing dementia is a complex mix of age, genes, and lifestyle aspects. “

In this study population, the researchers found that the more of these three conditions in a person, the higher their risk of dementia. Image in public domain

In this study, the researchers looked at data from the population over the age of 60, including whether they had heart disease, information about their genetics, and how they affected the risk of developing dementia.

They found that people with multiple heart conditions were more likely to develop dementia than people who were genetically at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

“These findings underscore the importance of treating the causes of deteriorating heart health, not only for their own benefit, but also to reduce the number of cases of dementia. We would like to thank all the supporters who helped fund this work, from the generosity of the volunteers, without whom such research would not be possible.

“If someone is worried about your heart or brain health, talk to your doctor.”

The document is entitled “Cardiometabolic Multiple Diseases, Genetic Risk and Dementia: A Prospective Cohort Study”.

See also

It shows the brain over the arm

Funding: The study is funded by Wellcome Trust, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alan Turing Institute, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, National Institutes of Health Research, Southwest Peninsula, National Health and Medical Research Council, JP Moulton Foundation. , and the National Institute on Aging / National Institutes of Health.

This is about cardiometabolic health and dementia research news

Author: Louise Vennells
A source: University of Exeter
The connection: Louise Vennells – University of Exeter
Photo: Image in public domain

Original study: Open access.
“Cardiometabolic multimorbidity, genetic risk, and dementia: a prospective cohort study” Xin You Tai et al. Lancet Health longevity


Cardiometabolic multiple diseases, genetic risk and dementia: a prospective cohort study


Individual cardiometabolic disorders and genetic factors are associated with an increased risk of dementia; however, the link between dementia and cardiometabolic multiple disease is not clear. We studied whether cardiometabolic increases the risk of mental disorders, regardless of the genetic risk of the disease, and are associated with structural changes in the brain.


We examined health and genetic data in 203,038 UK Biobank European descent, 60 years of age or older, baseline assessment (2006–10) and in England and Scotland by March 31, 2021 and February 28, 2018. . In Wales, as well as structural data of the brain in a nested descriptive sample of 12,236 participants. A cardiometabolic multiple disease index (one point for each), including stroke, diabetes, and myocardial infarction, and a polygenic risk score (with low, medium, and high risk groups) for dementia were calculated for each participant. The main outcome measures were dementia caused by the incident and structural indicators of the brain.


The risk of dementia associated with high cardiometabolic multiple diseases was three times higher than the high genetic risk (risk factor). [HR] 5 · 55, 95% CI 3 · 39-9 · 08, p <0 · 0001 and 1 · 68, 1 · 53-1 · 84, p <0 · 0001). Participants with a high genetic risk and a cardiometabolic multiple disease index of two or more had a higher risk of dementia (HR 5 · 74, 95% CI 4 · 26-7 · 74, p <0 · 0001). The genetic risk is low and there are no cardiometabolic conditions. Most importantly, we found no interaction between cardiometabolic multimorbidity and polygenic risk (p = 0 · 18). Many cardiometabolic disorders are associated with common brain structural changes, including low hippocampal volume (F).2, 12 110= 10 · 70; p <0 · 0001) and the total amount of gray matter (F2, 12 236= 55 · 65; p <0 · 0001).


Cardiometabolic multiple disease is associated with greater risk of mental retardation and brain differences than self-genetic risk. Cardiometabolic helps reduce the risk of dementia, despite the genetic risk of targeting many diseases.


Wellcome Trust, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alan Turing Institute / Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, National Institutes of Health Research Applied Research Cooperation Southwest Peninsula, National Health and Medical Research Council, JP Moulton Foundation and National Institute on Aging / National health institutions.

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