HCPLive Network

Heart Disease Linked to Cognitive Decline in Elderly Postmenopaual Women

A recent study published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association discovered an association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognitive decline in postmenopausal women between the ages of 65 and 79 years old.
For their prospective follow-up research on 6,455 cognitively intact postmenopausal elderly women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), Bernhard Haring, MD, MPH, and colleagues followed the women for a median of 8.4 years and tracked modified mini-mental state examination scores, patient-reported CVD, and neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric examination results.
In addition to the association found between CVD and cognitive decline, the researchers found that hypertension and diabetes increased the risk for cognitive decline in women without CVD, while diabetes tended to elevate the risk for mild cognitive impairment or probable dementia in women with CVD. However, adiposity did not appear to be linked with cognitive decline.
Though angina pectoris was moderately associated with cognitive decline, atrial fibrillation and heart failure showed no significant relationship with cognitive functioning. 

Further Reading
Data from a large cohort of Swedish men suggest that regular vigorous exercise starting around age 30 may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, particularly among those who stop exercising later in life.
In men, supplemental calcium intake is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Presentation at the 2013 Southern Hospital Medicine Conference reviewed the clinical application of several key risk indices, including the Revised Cardiac Risk Index and the Vascular Study Group of New England Risk Index.
For patients with established cardiovascular disease and atrial fibrillation, warfarin treatment correlates with a lower risk of a composite of death, myocardial infarction, and ischemic stroke, with no increased risk of bleeding, regardless of chronic kidney disease severity, according to a study published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Patients treated with too much or too little warfarin for atrial fibrillation (AF) are significantly more likely to develop dementia than patients who maintain proper medication levels.
A blood test has been developed that can predict with 90 percent certainty whether a senior will suffer from dementia such as Alzheimer's disease within the next few years, according to a study published online March 9 in Nature Medicine. The test relies on levels of 10 lipids in the bloodstream to estimate the chances of either mild cognitive impairment or the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease.
Recently released guidelines for the diagnosis and management of stable ischemic heart disease focus on evaluation and testing, risk factor modification, medical therapy and other therapeutic options, and follow-up.
More Reading