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This article, first published by Frontiers Media, is the author's final published version in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Volume 16, 2024, Article number 1361772.

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Copyright © 2024 Liu, Gracely, Zhao, Gliebus, May, Volpe, Shi, DiMaria-Ghalili and Eisen.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: There is a scarcity of data stemming from large-scale epidemiological longitudinal studies focusing on potentially preventable and controllable risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and AD-related dementia (ADRD). This study aimed to examine the effect of multiple metabolic factors and cardiovascular disorders on the risk of cognitive decline and AD/ADRD.

METHODS: We analyzed a cohort of 6,440 participants aged 45-84 years at baseline. Multiple metabolic and cardiovascular disorder factors included the five components of the metabolic syndrome [waist circumference, high blood pressure (HBP), elevated glucose and triglyceride (TG) concentrations, and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations], C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, interleukin-6 (IL-6), factor VIII, D-dimer, and homocysteine concentrations, carotid intimal-medial thickness (CIMT), and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR). Cognitive decline was defined using the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI) score, and AD/ADRD cases were classified using clinical diagnoses.

RESULTS: Over an average follow-up period of 13 years, HBP and elevated glucose, CRP, homocysteine, IL-6, and ACR concentrations were significantly associated with the risk of mortality in the individuals with incident AD/ADRD or cognitive decline. Elevated D-dimer and homocysteine concentrations, as well as elevated ACR were significantly associated with incident AD/ADRD. Elevated homocysteine and ACR were significantly associated with cognitive decline. A dose-response association was observed, indicating that an increased number of exposures to multiple risk factors corresponded to a higher risk of mortality in individuals with cognitive decline or with AD/ADRD.

CONCLUSION: Findings from our study reaffirm the significance of preventable and controllable factors, including HBP, hyperglycemia, elevated CRP, D-dimer, and homocysteine concentrations, as well as, ACR, as potential risk factors for cognitive decline and AD/ADRD.

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