"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Study: Dementia risk linked to cholesterol fluctuations

July 6, 2023 – A latest study shows that older individuals who experience large changes in blood lipid levels could also be at higher risk of developing dementia.

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels have long been linked to heart problems, but the newest evaluation shows that individuals aged 60 and over whose total cholesterol and triglyceride levels showed the best fluctuations over a five-year period had as much as a 23% increased risk of developing dementia.

The researchers also found that the increased risk as a result of fluctuations in total cholesterol or triglycerides was present even in individuals who took medications to regulate their levels of cholesterol. The study also checked out fluctuations in LDL and HDL cholesterol, but fluctuations in these standalone measures had no link to dementia.

The Results were published on Wednesday within the magazine neurology. The researchers analyzed the health records of 11,571 people, all of whom lived within the Minnesota county where the Mayo Clinic is situated. The average age of the study participants was 71 years old and 96% of them were white. None of them had been diagnosed with dementia at the beginning of the study. Over the subsequent 10 years, 21% of the people had Alzheimer's disease or one other type of dementia.

Dementia refers to problems with memory, pondering, and decision-making which can be severe enough to interfere with an individual's every day life. Alzheimer's disease is essentially the most common type of dementia. In the United States, greater than 5 million people aged 65 and older suffer from dementia, and the CDC This number is forecast to rise to 14 million by 2060.

The researchers identified that previous research has shown that fluctuations in total cholesterol are an indicator of heart problems and early death. Although their findings couldn’t pinpoint a cause, the researchers wrote that one theory about how lipid fluctuations contribute to dementia is that narrowed arteries may result in reduced blood flow to the brain.

“Routine cholesterol and triglyceride testing is commonly performed as part of standard medical care,” said researcher Suzette J. Bielinski, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in a opinion“Fluctuations in these outcomes over time could potentially help us identify who is at higher risk of dementia, understand the mechanisms of dementia development, and ultimately determine whether leveling out these fluctuations could play a role in reducing dementia risk.”