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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. 


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