Preventing heart disease may protect you from dementia, researchers say. The new study looked at nearly 1,600 people, at an average age of 79.5, who were followed for 21 years. Their heart disease risk was assessed at the outset, and participants had annual memory and thinking tests.
The takeaway: People with a higher risk of heart disease also had greater mental, or cognitive, decline, including an increase in markers of Alzheimer’s disease. That suggests that monitoring and controlling for heart disease may be important to cognitive health later in life, the researchers said. The findings were published May 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.