Cancer Thinking

Cardiovascular health linked thinking capabilities later in life latest research

Cancer Thinking

According to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, keeping heart healthy as a young adult may increase your chance of staying mentally sharp in mid-life.

In a clinical 25-year old study done on 3,381 people, 18- to 30-years-old, those with blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels on a higher side suffered from low level of thinking capabilities their 40s and 50s. The average scores on three cognitive tests were between 0.06 to 0.30 points less which showed a high level of risk associated with the cognitive functions. According to researchers – “It was observed that as young adult, mildly elevated cardiovascular risks seem to matter for your brain health later in life”. This is one of the first most wide-spread and long-term studies looking at key heart disease and stroke risk factors’ effects on cognitive function in this age group. An earlier research showed similar effects of mid-life and late-life cardiovascular health on brainpower in late life.

The study done as a part continued ongoing multi-center Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Participants had their blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and cholesterol levels checked every two to five years. Researchers studied each person’s cumulative cardiovascular health over 25 years.

The American Heart Association defines ideal cardiovascular health as systolic blood pressure <120 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure <80 mm Hg, blood sugar <100 mg/dL, and cholesterol < 200 mg/dL.

By the end of the study, the trial participants were tested for three different functions viz-measuring memory, thinking speed and mental flexibility.

Increased blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are the prime major risk factors for atherosclerosis, leading to accumulation of waxy material around the arteries. According to researchers- The narrowing of the arteries leading to and in the brain is the most likely explanation for the link between cardiovascular health and cognitive function. Researchers are quite hopeful about this latest research, because it may prevent the risk of many diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by emphasizing the importance of controlling risk factors in adults aged in 40s to 50s.