Does a woman’s heart health affect her cognition in midlife?

A new study finds that black women with poor cardiovascular health may be at increased risk of early signs of cognitive decline in midlife.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, included approximately 363 black women and 402 white women who enrolled at a Chicago facility in the study titled “Women’s Health Across the Nation.” were between 42 and 52 years old.

Cognition (measured by processing speed and working memory) was assessed annually or biennially for up to 20 years, with a mean follow-up of 9.8 years.

The research team also calculated a cardiovascular health index based on a checklist known as the Life Essentials 8. This checklist includes eight basic factors you need to consider to ensure heart health. Blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar level, cholesterol, smoking, physical activity. eating and sleeping.

An interesting question was to determine whether cardiovascular health is similarly associated with reduced cognitive decline in both black and white middle-aged women.

Processing speed, a key indicator of early cognitive decline, appears to decline from midlife onwards in black women with poor cardiovascular health, but not in white women. Working memory did not decline across study groups or in groups based on race or cardiovascular health.

Study co-author Imke Janssen, Ph.D., of Rush University Medical, said, “The results of this study show that promoting cardiovascular health in midlife for Black women, particularly blood pressure control and smoking cessation, can help prevent cognitive decline earlier and increase independence.” This suggests that it may be important for the maintenance of center. As we age, clinical trials are needed to determine whether improving heart health in midlife slows the decline in cognitive function. ”

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