Sunday, July 26, 2020

Genes and cardiovascular health both affect dementia risk

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     In a study in the journal Neurology, researchers found that dementia associated common gene variants or the APOE 4 genotype can double the risk on dementia, while good cardiovascular health can halve the risk. Genes and cardiovascular risk can independently add to or subtract from a person's risk of dementia. Adopting a healthier lifestyle while having a high genetic risk of dementia could reduce the risk.
     In the study, there were 1211 participants. Those who had a high risk score based on several common gene variants were 2.6 times more likely than those with a low risk score to develop dementia. The APOE 4 genotype is found in 10-15% of the general population. Those in the study with one APOE 4 allele were 2.3 times more likely to develop dementia than those who didn't have it at all. Participants were also scored based on their cardiovascular health. This included physical activity, cholesterol, diet, blood pressure, weight, blood glucose, and smoking status. Those with favorable cardiovascular health were 55% less likely to develop dementia. There was no interaction found between genetic risk score or APOE 4 and cardiovascular health which confirms that these affect the development of dementia independently.

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