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Vascular Risk Factors & Alzheimer's Disease

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Updated: August 3, 2006

Research reported in the American Academy of Neurology has found that the more vascular risk factors someone has the greater the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. 'Vascular' means vessels that carry or circulate fluids, such as blood.
Vascular risk factors were defined as high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and current smoking.

The researchers from Columbia University followed up 1,138 people (average age mid 70's) over 5 years. None of them had dementia when the study began. Their findings showed that;

  • The risk of Alzheimer disease increased with the number of vascular risk factors

  • Diabetes and current smokers were the strongest risk factors by themselves.
  • Four risk factors i.e. diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and current smoking, were associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's Disease

  • People with 3 or more vascular risk factors had nearly three-and-one-half times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as those with none.
  • Research Implications
    These research findings have implications for minimizing vascular health risks through;

  • Preventative health screening

  • Appropriate medical control of any symptoms of vascular disorders and /li]
  • Having a healthy lifestyle that includes a good balanced diet, not smoking and taking regular exercise.

    Article Source
    Aggregation of vascular risk factors and risk of incident Alzheimer disease .Published 2005
    J. A. Luchsinger, MD, MPH, C. Reitz, MD, L. S. Honig, MD, PhD, M. X. Tang, PhD, Steven Shea, MD, MS and R. Mayeux, MD, MSe From the Taub Institute for Research of Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain (Drs. Luchsinger, Reitz, Honig, Tang, and Mayeux), Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center (Drs. Luchsinger, Honig, Tang, and Mayeux), Department of Biostatistics (Drs. Tang, and Mayeux), Joseph P. Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology (Drs. Shea, and Mayeux), Joseph P. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and Division of General Medicine (Drs. Luchsinger, Shea, Mayeux), Department of Medicine, Department of Neurology (Drs. Honig and Mayeux), and Department of Psychiatry (Drs. Mayeux), Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY.

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