More than 800 adults with mild cognitive impairment were recruited for annual observation over a period of five years with tests to determine cognitive function. Mild cognitive impairment increases the risk for development of Alzheimer’s disease. At the end of the five year observation period nearly three hundred of the 650 participants that completed the study had developed Alzheimer’s disease.
At the outset of the study nearly half of the participants had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Based upon the information gathered researchers concluded that participants who displayed cardiovascular risk factors were two times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Just having cardiovascular risk factors didn’t automatically mean that participants would develop Alzheimer’s though. Those who received the appropriate treatment for cardiovascular risk factors from health care providers reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly 40% over those that didn’t get treatment.
As an observational study the information gathered by researchers here can’t be used to prove that cardiovascular risk factors have a direct affect on the development of Alzheimer’s. This research should certainly cause individuals to visit their health care providers in order to determine if heart health risk factors are present though. At the very least the proper treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease; at best it might reduce Alzheimer’s risk along with heart disease risk.