Cognition in midlife may be a sign of cardiovascular factors. Learn about the link between cognitive and heart health in women.
The leading causes of death worldwide are all linked to cardiovascular issues, which can lead to other health problems. Moreover, it seems that there may be a link between cognition and cardiovascular health – especially in women. According to a study in Neurology, women with cardiovascular issues in midlife may have a higher risk for cognitive decline.
Specific health conditions affect men and women at various stages of their life, with men developing certain conditions earlier than women. For example, men have a higher risk of coronary heart disease while women have a higher risk of stroke at the same age.
Various studies associate cardiovascular issues in midlife with a higher risk of developing late-life dementia and midlife cognitive decline. Still, more research is necessary to find how the connection between heart and cognitive health affects the sexes differently.
Connecting the Dots
Mayo Clinic researchers investigated the connection between midlife cardiovascular issues and midlife cognition in men and women. According to the results, midlife cardiovascular problems affect the midlife cognitive decline in both sexes – but with a difference.
“We actually thought we would see more of an association among the men, but we ended up finding that although a greater percentage of men had cardiovascular factors in midlife, there seemed to be more of an effect on the cognition of the women with those factors,” said Michelle M. Meilke, Ph.D., professor of Epidemiology and Neurology at the Mayo Clinic and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study included 1,857participants between the ages of 50 to 69 and who didn’t have dementia at the start. Furthermore, they were clinically evaluated every 15 months for 3 years using several tests to examine memory, language, and more.
The Link Between Cognitive and Heart Health in Women
The study shows that women with risk factors were more likely to experience a cognitive decline than men. Moreover, it shows that women who have risk factors (e.g.: hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.) can develop a decline in cognition at a greater incidence than men.
“It’s really important for women to [receive more aggressive treatment] if they have any of these cardiovascular risk factors,” says Mielke. For this reason, it’s important that women make the necessary lifestyle changes in their 40s and 50s.
While more research is necessary to make the connections between sex, heart issues, and cognitive decline, the fact is that minimizing risk factors is important. Whether you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or something else, you need to adopt healthy habits to reduce your risk of heart disease.
In addition to exercise and diet, you can give your health an extra boost by taking supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients are effective at promoting circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more. Give your health the support it deserves by minimizing those risk factors and taking L-arginine Plus.