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J Behav Med. 2014 Apr;37(2):332-42. doi: 10.1007/s10865-013-9491-z. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Cognitive decline and cardiometabolic risk among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adults in the San Luis Valley Health and Aging Study.

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Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Mail Stop B-179, 12631 East 17th Avenue, Aurora, CO, 80045, USA,


Cardiometabolic risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, central obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes are linked to cognitive impairment. The Hispanic population appears to be differentially affected by both cardiometabolic risk factors and cognitive impairment. We sought to determine whether ethnic differences in cognitive impairment in long-resident southwestern US elders was explained by the presence of cardiometabolic risk factors, and to explore patterns of cognitive decline over time. We performed a secondary analysis of data collected on 378 Hispanic and 409 non-Hispanic white adult participants in a longitudinal study of community-dwelling elderly in southern Colorado. Measures of cardiometabolic risk included waist circumference, blood pressure, diagnosis of diabetes, and random blood glucose. Cognitive measures included the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) and the behavioral dyscontrol scale (a measure of executive cognitive function), at baseline and after an average of 22 months. Subjects were also administered the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults 1-Year Activity Recall. At baseline, Hispanic elders had a greater number of cardiometabolic risk factors and lower MMSE and behavioral dyscontrol scale scores than non-Hispanic whites. Hispanic ethnicity was associated with a greater likelihood of decline in general cognitive function, but not executive cognitive function, after adjusting for age and education. This differential decline was not explained by either individual or total number of baseline cardiometabolic risk factors, depression, or physical activity. A borderline increased risk of decline in general cognitive function was seen in sedentary individuals (P = 0.05).

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