New York, April 1 (IANS): Watch your diet and exercise regularly before it is too late as a new research suggests that young adults with high blood pressure and elevated glucose levels are at greater risks of developing dementia later in life.
Elevated blood pressure and glucose could diminish cognitive function in middle age by reducing blood supply to the brain, causing changes in brain structure and increasing inflammation and oxidative stress, which can damage neurons, said the researchers.
“These cardiovascular risk factors are all quite modifiable,” said Kristine Yaffe, a professor at University of California San Francisco.
"If it turns out that the damage begins before middle age, we may need to expand our focus and work on reducing heart disease risks in earlier stages of life," Yaffe added.
The researchers examined data from more than 3,300 18- to 30-year-olds.
Cardiac risk factors were measured every two to five years for 25 years, at which point those in the study underwent tests to measure their executive function, cognitive processing speed and verbal memory.
Those whose blood pressure and glucose exceeded recommended levels during the 25-year study performed worse on all three tests, while high cholesterol was associated only with poor verbal memory.
The study appeared in the journal Circulation.