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The Cardiac-Cognitive Connection


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.

The New Numbers to Know

The New Numbers to Know

It’s not enough to know your cholesterol level. While cholesterol is the molecule responsible for causing fatty buildups inside arteries, scientists now suspect that it is only part of the portrait of heart disease. Inflammation, which can weaken blood vessels and cause cholesterol plaques to loosen and create blockages, is the new marker. Have your C-reactive protein (CRP), which should be at or below 8 micrograms/milliliter (I would prefer it to be half that or lower).

In addition, in women, elevated white blood cell counts may predict heart disease, reports a 2005 Women’s Health Initiative study. Levels at the upper end of normal (6.7 billion white blood cells per liter of blood) may double a woman’s risk of heart attack.

Testing is available at Optimum Health Options through a partnership with LabCorp at extremely discounted prices.

“Coronary heart disease is now the leading cause of death worldwide. It is on the rise and has become a true pandemic that respects no borders.”
–World Health Organization

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