University Of Tasmania
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Association between cognitive function and clustered cardiovascular risk of metabolic syndrome in older adults at risk of cognitive decline

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posted on 2023-05-20, 18:38 authored by Lai, MMY, Ames, DJ, Cox, KL, Ellis, KA, Matthew SharmanMatthew Sharman, Hepworth, G, Desmond, P, Cyarto, EV, Szoeke, C, Martins, R, Masters, CL, Lautenschlager, NT

Objectives: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) represents a cluster of obesity and insulin resistance-related comorbidities. Abdominal obesity, hypertension, elevated triglyceride and glucose levels are components of MetS and may have a negative effect on cognitive function, but few cognitive studies have examined the combined risk severity. We sought to determine which specific cognitive abilities were associated with MetS in older adults at risk of cognitive decline.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Participants: 108 AIBL Active participants with memory complaints and at least one cardiovascular risk factor.

Measurements: Cardiovascular parameters and blood tests were obtained to assess metabolic syndrome criteria. The factors of MetS were standardized to obtain continuous z-scores. A battery of neuropsychological tests was used to evaluate cognitive function.

Results: Higher MetS z-scores were associated with poorer global cognition using ADAS-cog (adjusted standardized beta=0.26, SE 0.11, p<0.05) and higher Trail Making B scores (adjusted beta=0.23, SE 0.11, p<0.05). Higher MetS risk was related to lower cognitive performance.

Conclusion: Combined risk due to multiple risk factors in MetS was related to lower global cognitive performance and executive function. A higher MetS risk burden may point to opportunities for cognitive testing in older adults as individuals may experience cognitive changes.


National Health & Medical Research Council


Publication title

Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging








School of Health Sciences



Place of publication


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© Serdi and Springer-Verlag International SAS, part of Springer Nature. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified