The Alzheimer's-cardiovascular health connection are, in fact, the subject of another study also being presented at the meeting.
In this case, a team from the University of Connecticut found that nearly two-thirds of 690 adults polled incorrectly thought there is no association between Alzheimer's and either obesity or high blood pressure, two significant risk factors for heart health complications. In light of this and other misconceptions highlighted by the survey, the study authors called for a stronger effort to promote improved "dementia literacy."
In addition, a third study at the meeting reveals that having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increased the risk of developing dementia.
The University of California San Francisco researchers came to this conclusion after examining records from 2001 through 2007 provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Patient Care Database, concerning more than 181,000 U.S. veterans. The upshot: during the seven-year study, those with PTSD went on to develop dementia at a rate of nearly 11 percent, while those with no history of PTSD developed dementia at a rate of nearly 7 percent.
For more on Alzheimer's disease risk factors, visit the Alzheimer's Association.
SOURCES: Kaycee M. Sink, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, department of internal medicine, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine section, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Greg M. Cole, Ph.D., neuroscientist, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, and associate director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles; Laurel Coleman, M.D., geriatric physician, Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine, and member, National Board of Directo
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