HealthDay News — Midlife cardiac structure and its change from early to middle adulthood are associated with lower midlife cognition, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in Neurology.
Laure Rouch, Pharm.D., Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the impact of midlife cardiac structure and function and their 25-year change on midlife cognition in 2,653 adults. Echocardiograms were obtained at mean ages of 30, 50, and 55 years (year 5, year 25, and year 30 visits) to assess left ventricular (LV) mass (LVMi), LV ejection fraction (LVEF), left atrial volume (LAVi), and early peak mitral velocity (E)/early peak mitral annular velocity (e’) ratio. Five cognitive domains were measured at the year 30 visit.
The researchers found that LVMi and LAVi increased over 25 years (mean change of 0.27 g/m2 and 0.42 mL/m2 per year, respectively), while LVEF decreased (0.11 percent). The 25-year increase in LVMi was associated with lower cognition on most tests after adjustment for demographics and education; a 25-year increase in LAVi was associated with lower global cognition, while no association with cognition was seen for the 25-year decrease in LVEF. Similar results were seen with further adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors. Higher year 30 LVMi and LAVi, but not year 30 E/e’ ratio and LVEF, were significantly associated with worse cognition on most tests.
“Our findings are of critical importance in the context of identifying potential early markers in the heart of increased risk for later-life cognitive decline,” Rouch said in a statement.