Treatable Vascular Risk and Cognitive Performance in Persons Aged 35 Years or Older: Longitudinal Study of Six Years

M. E. A. Van Eersel*, H. Joosten, R. T. Gansevoort, J. P. J. Slaets, G. J. Izaks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Poor cognitive performance is associated with high vascular risk. However, this association is only investigated in elderly. As neuropathological changes precede clinical symptoms of cognitive impairment by several decades, it is likely that cognitive performance is already associated with vascular risk at middle-age.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association of cognitive performance with treatable vascular risk in middle-aged and old persons.

DESIGN: Longitudinal study with three measurements during follow-up period of 5.5 years.

SETTING: City of Groningen, the Netherlands.

PARTICIPANTS: Cohort of 3,572 participants (age range, 35-82 years; mean age, 54 years; men, 52%).

EXPOSURE: Treatable vascular risk as defined by treatable components of the Framingham Risk Score for Cardiovascular Disease at the first measurement (diabetes mellitus, smoking, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension).

MEASUREMENTS: Change in cognitive performance during follow-up. Cognitive performance was measured with Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT) and Visual Association Test (VAT), and calculated as the average of the standardized RFFT and VAT score per participant.

RESULTS: The mean (SD) cognitive performance changed from 0.00 (0.79) at the first measurement to 0.15 (0.83) at second measurement and to 0.39 (0.82) at the third measurement (Ptrend

CONCLUSIONS: Change in cognitive performance was associated with treatable vascular risk in persons aged 35 years or older.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-49
Number of pages8
JournalJPAD-Journal of prevention of alzheimers disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Cognitive performance
  • treatable vascular risk
  • longitudinal analysis
  • cardiovascular disease
  • preventing cognitive impairment
  • CARE

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