Association of cardiovascular risk burden with risk of dementia and brain pathologies: A population-based cohort study

Ruixue Song, Kuan-Yu Pan, Hui Xu, Xiuying Qi, Aron S Buchman, David A Bennett, Weili Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The impact of cardiovascular risk burden on brain pathologies remains unclear. We aimed to examine the association of the Framingham General Cardiovascular Risk Score (FGCRS) with dementia risk, and brain pathologies.

METHODS: Within the Rush Memory and Aging Project, 1588 dementia-free participants were assessed on FGCRS at baseline and followed up to 21 years. During the follow-up, 621 participants died and underwent autopsies.

RESULTS: The multi-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) of FGCRS were 1.03 (1.00-1.07) for dementia and 1.04 (1.01-1.07) for Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia. Further, a higher FGCRS was associated with higher gross chronic cerebral infarctions (odds ratio [OR] 1.08, 95% CI 1.02-1.14), cerebral atherosclerosis (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.03-1.17), and global AD pathology (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01-1.12).

CONCLUSIONS: A higher FGCRS is associated with an increased risk of dementia and AD dementia. Both vascular and AD pathologies in the brain may underlie this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1914-1922
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association
Issue number12
Early online date26 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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