Researchers: BMI, Blood Pressure, Glycemia Linked to Dementia

Cecilia Pessoa Gingerich
Published Online: Friday, August 3rd, 2018
A 14-year case-control study of older adults reports that elevated blood glucose was the only cardiometabolic risk factor with consistently higher values among participants with future dementia up to 14 years before diagnosis. The study was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on July 24, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

The study noted that in cases, body mass index (BMI) declined and systolic blood pressure (BP) increased more slowly in the 14 years before diagnosis, compared to controls. Study authors, led by Maude Wagner, MPH, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, University of Bordeaux, suggested that the lower BP in prodromal dementia could be a “consequence and a contributing factor” while higher blood glucose levels may be a risk factor for dementia among older adults.

“Overall, these findings suggest that elevated glycemia, low BP, and weight loss may be primary targets for the management of cardiometabolic health for primary and secondary prevention of dementia in the older age range,” said Wagner et al.

This study is nested within an ongoing, prospective cohort study of adults aged 65 and older, the Three-City (3C) study, that began in 1999. The present study matched dementia cases (n = 841) with 4 controls each and compared the trajectories for major cardiometabolic risk factors up to 14 years preceding dementia diagnoses for the cases.

Specifically, the researchers examined BMI, systolic BP, diastolic BP, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycemia levels between 1999 and 2014. Measurements were taken at baseline (T0) and at 5 follow up visits to participants in Dijon every 2-3 years (T2, T4, T7, T10, T12) and 6 visits to participants in Bordeaux and Montpellier (including the additional T14).

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