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Heart Conditions Linked with an Increased Risk of Dementia

Researchers have found those with heart conditions have an increased risk of dementia, even when they accounted for the impact of genetics. Alzheimer’s Research UK funding supported the research at the University of Exeter.

Using information from volunteers in the UK Biobank, scientists identified people who had heart conditions including diabetes, stroke or heart attack or a combination of these, and then also looked to see who went on to develop dementia.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“The evidence is clear that what’s good for your heart is also good for your head. A person’s risk of developing dementia is a complex mix of their age, their genes, and aspects of their lifestyle. In this study, researchers looked at data from a population of 60 years and older, including whether they had particular heart conditions, information about their genetics, and how these affected their risk of developing dementia. They found that people with multiple heart health conditions were even more likely to develop dementia than people who had an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease due to their genetics.

“These findings reiterate the importance of treating the causes of poor heart health, not just for its own sake, but also the added benefit in terms of reducing the number of dementia cases. From the generosity of our supporters who enabled us to fund this work, to the selflessness of the volunteers that made it possible, we want to say thank you, without you research like this cannot take place.

“If anyone is worried about the health of your heart or your brain, please speak to your doctor.”