Boston: A new study conducted by Boston University of School of Medicine has revealed that lower high-density cholesterol (HDL) and high triglyceride levels measured in the blood already at the age of 35 are associated with a higher incidence of AD in the future.
The story was published in the journal Alzheimers & Dementia.
“While our findings confirm other studies that linked cholesterol and glucose levels measured in blood with future risk of Alzheimer’s disease, we have for the first time shown that these relationships extend much earlier in life than previously thought,” explained senior author Lindsay A. Farrer, PhD, Head of Biomedical Genetics at BUSM.
The researchers believed that although high LDL has been consistently associated with AD risk in many previous studies, the link between HDL and AD was incomplete, perhaps because most studies examining these relationships were performed on people 55 years of age and older at baseline.
This study was conducted using data obtained from participants in the Framingham Heart Study, which were examined at approximately four-year intervals for most of their adult lives.
Correlations of AD with several known risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes (including HDL, LDL, triglycerides, glucose, blood pressure, smoking, and body mass index) were measured at each study and over three age periods during adulthood (35-50, 51-60, 61- 70).
The researchers found that lower HDL (the good cholesterol) predicts AD in early (35-50 years) and mid (51-60 years) adulthood and that high blood glucose (a precursor to diabetes) in mid-adulthood is also predictive. of AD.
“These findings show for the first time that cardiovascular risk factors, including HDL that have not been consistently reported as a strong risk factor for AD, contribute to future risk of AD beginning as early as age 35,” says first and corresponding author Xiaoling Zhang. MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at BUSM.
According to the researchers, careful management of these factors starting in early adulthood can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer’s. “Interventions focused on cholesterol and glucose management starting in early adulthood can help maximize cognitive health in later life. in life, “Farrer added.
Farrer also pointed out, “The unique design and mission of the Framingham Heart Study, a multigenerational, community-based, prospective study of health that began in 1948, enabled us to link Alzheimer’s to risk factors for heart disease and diabetes measured much earlier in life. than possible in most other studies of cognitive impairment and dementia. “