Date: May 2005
Creator: Cornett, Patricia F.
Description: Dementia is a devastating disorder that commonly affects people over the age of 65. Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are the most common forms of dementias. A number of studies have implicated cardiovascular risks as important factors in the development of dementia. These risks include high-risk behaviors such as smoking and risks related at least partially to health behaviors such as diet and exercise. This study examines a group of cardiovascular risk factors, as defined by the Framingham study, to ascertain if they are predictors of dementia. A retrospective chart review of 481consecutive patients seen in a geriatric medicine clinic produced a sample of 177 individuals diagnosed with dementia and 304 individuals without a dementia diagnosis. Relative risk ratio (RRR) results indicate that a history of hypertension (RRR= 1.80, p = .009) and a history of hypercholesterolemia (RRR = 1.85, p = .016) are significant predictors of Alzheimer's disease. A history of tobacco use (RRR = 2.18, p = .01) is a significant predictor of vascular dementia. Stepwise regression analyses indicate that hypercholesterolemia is an independent predictor of dementia (b = -.113, p = .009) and hypercholesterolemia (b = -.104, p = .018) and hypertension (b = -.094, p = ...
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