In addition, diabetes, high cholesterol and coronary artery disease were associated with greater language decline in women. However, congestive heart failure was associated with greater language decline in men.
It is important to understand sex differences in the development of cognitive impairment to enhance the health of women and men, Mielke said. Middle-aged adults, especially women with a history of heart disease, may represent critical subgroups for early monitoring. Additional research is needed across the life span to examine potential mechanisms explaining sex differences in the relationship between cardiovascular factors and cognition, such as hormones, genetics, lifestyle and psychosocial factors, Mielke said.
Funding for this study was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the GHR Foundation, and resources were provided by the Rochester Epidemiology Project, which is supported by the National Institute on Aging.
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