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The Cardiac-Cognitive Connection

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A healthier heart may reduce a person’s risks of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Reflecting cardiac output – the amount of blood that leaves the heart and is pumped through the body taking into consideration a person’s body size, cardiac index is a measure of heart health.  Angela Jefferson, from Vanderbilt University (Tennessee, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 1,039 participants enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study’s Offspring Cohort, who were followed for up to 11 years.  Over the study period, 32 participants developed dementia, including 26 cases of Alzheimer’s disease. Compared to normal cardiac index, the researchers found that those individuals with clinically low cardiac index had a higher relative risk of dementia. The study authors conclude that: “Lower cardiac index is associated with an increased risk for the development of dementia and [Alzheimer’s Disease].”

Angela L. Jefferson, Alexa S. Beiser, Jayandra J. Himali, Sudha Seshadri, Christopher J. O’Donnell, Warren J. Manning, et al.  “Low Cardiac Index is Associated with Incident Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Framingham Heart Study.”  Circulation. February 19, 2015.

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