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Diastolic dysfunction novel risk factor for cognitive impairment

Worsening diastolic dysfunction, a condition that is common in older adults, is associated with more difficulty with executive functioning, and with more white matter hyperintensities on brain imaging. These study results strongly suggest that diastolic dysfunction is a novel, modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia [1].

Systolic dysfunction has an important effect on cardiovascular outcomes and is associated with cognitive decline. The relationship between diastolic dysfunction and cognition however, is undefined. Diastolic dysfunction is common among older adults, especially women, and is increasing. The study set out to determine if diastolic dysfunction is associated with the development of cognitive impairment. Therefore, echocardiographic, MRI, and neuropsychological data from 1438 individuals >55 years were analysed. These data were collected between 2005 and 2008 in participants of the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort.

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