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Obesity, High Blood Pressure Tied to Memory Decline

Thursday, 03 Feb 2011 09:34 AM

Older adults with metabolic syndrome — a condition associated with high blood pressure, larger waistlines, and other risk factors — may be at higher risk of memory decline, according to a French study.

Older people with metabolic syndrome were 20 percent more likely to have cognitive decline on a memory test than those without it, according to the study, publsihed in today's online issue of Neurology.

The authors report that 16 percent of the 7,087 participants — men and women from three French cities who were over 65 years old —had metabolic syndrome.

Study participants took a series of tests, including a memory test, a visual memory test, and a word fluency test, two and four years later.

In addition to scoring lower on memory tests, those with metabolic syndrome were also 13 percent more likely to show cognitive impairment on the visual test.

"Our study sheds new light on how metabolic syndrome and the individual factors of the disease may affect cognitive health," said study author Christelle Raffaitin, of the French National Institute of Health Research in Bordeaux, France. "Our results suggest that management of metabolic syndrome may help slow down age-related memory loss, or delay the onset of dementia."

To read the full USA Today story about the study — Go Here Now.


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