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Author Notes:

Thomas H. Mosley. The MIND Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 N. State St., Jackson, MS, 39216. Tel: (601) 984-4467, mindcenter@umc.edu

The authors thank the staff and participants of the ARIC study for their important contributions.


Research Funding:

Drs. Gonzalez and Tarraf receive support from the National Institute of Aging AG48642 and AG54548.

Dr. Gonzalez receives additional support from AG005131.

The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study is carried out as a collaborative study supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts (HHSN268201100005C, HHSN268201100006C, HHSN268201100007C, HHSN268201100008C, HSN268201100009C, HHSN268201100010C, HHSN268201100011C, and HHSN268201100012C).

Neurocognitive data is collected by U01 2U01HL096812, 2U01HL096814, 2U01HL096899, 2U01HL096902, 2U01HL096917 from the NIH (NHLBI, NINDS, NIA and NIDCD); and with previous brain MRI examinations funded by R01-HL70825 from the NHLBI.

The ARIC carotid MRI Examination was funded by U01HL075572-01.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Epidemiology
  • Cognition
  • Neurocognition
  • Cardiovascular health
  • African Americans
  • Caucasians
  • Whites

Midlife cardiovascular health and 20-year cognitive decline: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study results


Journal Title:

Alzheimer's and Dementia


Volume 14, Number 5


, Pages 579-589

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Introduction: The aim was to examine associations between midlife cardiovascular health (CVH) and 20-year cognitive decline among blacks and whites. Methods: Midlife CVH metrics (American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7) were calculated and examined in relation to midlife and 20-year change in cognitive function among 13,270 whites and blacks from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Cohort Study. We used linear mixed models to estimate adjusted associations of midlife CVH with midlife cognitive status and change. Results: Higher midlife (Life's Simple 7) scores and individual metrics, particularly blood pressure and glucose, were associated with better midlife cognition and reduced 20-year decline. Midlife CVH 20-year neuroprotection was more pronounced among whites than blacks. Discussion: Better midlife CVH was associated with higher midlife and reduced decline in cognitive function 20 years later. However, the benefits of midlife CVH on cognition were stronger for whites than for blacks. Our findings suggest that improved midlife CVH may promote enduring cognitive health.

Copyright information:

© 2017 the Alzheimer's Association

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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