Dementia, Heart Attack Share Risks
South Bend Tribune - March 21, 2005
The risk factors for heart disease may make dementia more likely, a study suggests.
Researchers reviewed medical records of 8,845 middle-age members of a health maintenance organization who had received health exams between 1964 and 1973.
Then the researchers identified all members of that group who had been diagnosed with dementia in the three decades following those exams.
They found that 8 percent of the group, 721 individuals, had developed dementia.
They also found that those who either smoked or had hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes were at higher risk for dementia than the others.
People with all four of those risk factors were found to be 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia than those with none of the conditions.
Interestingly, the risk factors studied by the researchers are also risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.