Smart Woman: Heart Disease And Dementia Risk

Published 12/18 2013 06:45PM

Updated 12/18 2013 06:56PM

New research shows heart disease may also be putting women at risk for dementia.  A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at nearly 6500 women over 65 and found postmenopausal women with heart disease or vascular disease were about 30 percent more likely to experience cognitive decline.

For women who have history of having had a heart attack, their risk was doubled of having either mild cognitive impairment or dementia over time.

Women who had bypass surgery were at greatest risk. Researchers don't know why heart disease may be linked to dementia in older women, but say it's possible plaque in the arteries may also suggest plaque in vessels feeding the brain.

The study also found having risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes increased risk for cognitive decline over time, even in women without heart disease.

If you know that you are at risk, then you can do more to help protect yourself.

The study also found that a being overweight or obese may actually protect against cognitive decline.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


.