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High Cholesterol in Midlife Ups Risk of Alzheimer’s

Elderly manA new research study confirms that the time to commit to a healthy lifestyle is now, rather than later.

Although the cardiovascular and cancer prevention benefits of diet and exercise have been widely promoted, new findings suggest keeping cholesterol under control can also lower the risk of dementia.

The new investigation discovered people with high cholesterol in their early 40s are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with low cholesterol.

“Our findings show it would be best for both physicians and patients to attack high cholesterol levels in their 40s to reduce the risk of dementia,” said study author Alina Solomon, MD, with the University of Kuopio in Finland.

Solomon collaborated with Rachel Whitmer, PhD, senior author of the study and a research scientist with Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, CA.

The study involved 9,752 men and women in northern California who underwent health evaluations between 1964 and 1973 when they were between the ages of 40 and 45 and remained with the same health plan through 1994. From 1994 to 2007, researchers obtained the participants’ most recent medical records to find 504 people had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and 162 had vascular dementia.

The study found people with total cholesterol levels between 249 and 500 milligrams were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those people with cholesterol levels of less than 198 milligrams. People with total cholesterol levels of 221 to 248 milligrams were more than one-and-a-quarter times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

“High mid-life cholesterol increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease regardless of midlife diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and late-life stroke,” said Solomon.

Solomon says conclusions regarding high mid-life cholesterol and the risk of vascular dementia were difficult to formulate as there are several types of vascular dementia that may have slightly different risk factors.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

High Cholesterol in Midlife Ups Risk of Alzheimer’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). High Cholesterol in Midlife Ups Risk of Alzheimer’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/04/17/high-cholesterol-in-midlife-ups-risk-of-alzheimers/2163.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.