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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Feb;67(2):126-34. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr189. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Metabolic syndrome and cognitive decline among the oldest old in Okinawa: in search of a mechanism. The KOCOA Project.

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Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.


The study aim was to test whether the metabolic syndrome or its components predicted cognitive decline among persons aged 80 years and older (mean 85.0 years). Participants were members of the "Keys to Optimal Cognitive Aging Project," a prospective cohort study in Okinawa, Japan. Metabolic syndrome was assessed at baseline. Cognitive functions were assessed annually for up to 3 years. One hundred and forty-eight participants completed at least one follow-up with 101 participating in all three assessments and 47 participating in two of the three assessments. The mean and median duration of follow-up were 1.8 and 2 years, respectively. Metabolic syndrome and four components were not associated with decline in global and executive cognitive functions. However, high glycosylated hemoglobin was associated with decline in memory function at the second follow-up. Our study supports accumulating evidence that the positive association between metabolic syndrome and cognitive function might not hold for the oldest old.

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