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Cardiovascular risk factors and cerebral atrophy in a middle-aged cohort.

TitleCardiovascular risk factors and cerebral atrophy in a middle-aged cohort.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsKnopman DS, Mosley TH, Catellier DJ, A Sharrett R
Corporate AuthorsAtherosclerosis Risk in Communities(ARIC) study
Date Published2005 Sep 27
KeywordsAge Factors, Aged, Aging, Atrophy, Brain, Cardiovascular Diseases, Causality, Cognition Disorders, Cohort Studies, Comorbidity, Dementia, Diabetes Complications, Disease Progression, Female, Humans, Lateral Ventricles, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Predictive Value of Tests, Risk Factors, Sex Factors

BACKGROUND: Because cardiovascular (CV) risk factors have been associated with declines in cognitive functions and late life dementia, CV risk factors should also be associated with brain atrophy.

OBJECTIVE: To study the association of CV risk factors with ventricular size (VS) and sulcal size (SS) in the middle-aged and young-elderly Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study cohort.

METHODS: Cerebral MRI was performed on 1,812 individuals (aged 50 to 73 [mean 62.3] years, 60% women, 50% African American) with no history of stroke or TIA from the ARIC cohort at study sites in Forsyth County, NC, and Jackson, MS. Neuroradiologists rated VS and SS using a semiquantitative, 10-point scale by visual comparison with a standardized reference atlas. CV risk factors were assessed approximately 6 years prior to the MR scan. The authors performed multivariate analyses to assess the independent relationship between CV risk factors and the two measures of brain atrophy.

RESULTS: Logistic regression models controlling for age, sex, race, and alcohol use found that the association between diabetes and VS is as follows: OR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.19 to 2.24; p = 0.003. Increasing levels of fasting blood glucose also showed an association with greater VS (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.10; p = 0.001, for each 10 mg/dL of blood glucose). No other CV risk factors were associated with greater VS or SS.

CONCLUSIONS: In this middle-aged and young-elderly cohort, diabetes mellitus was associated with greater ventricular size. Mechanisms for deterioration of brain structural integrity may include microvascular, amyloidogenic, or other not-yet-defined effects of diabetes mellitus.

Alternate JournalNeurology
PubMed ID16186527
Grant ListN01-HC-55015 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55016 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55018 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55019 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55020 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55021 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55022 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01- HL70825 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States