Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Metabolic syndrome makes for more senior moments

Metabolic syndrome is a catch-all term used to cover a number of different risk factors for health problems, such as high blood pressure, a pot belly, high blood fats (triglycerides), high blood sugar and low 'good' cholesterol - to be defined as having metabolic syndrome you need to have at least three of the above. Researchers from the French National Institute of Health Research in Bordeaux studied 7,087 people aged 65 and over from three French cities. They tested them for metabolic syndrome and gave them a series of memory and cognitive tests two and four years later. Those people (16%) with metabolic syndrome were 20% more likely to show a decline on the memory test and 13% more likely to show a decline on a test of visual working memory.Specifically, higher triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol were linked to poorer memory scores; diabetes, but not higher fasting blood sugar, was linked to poorer visual working memory and word fluency scores.

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