Study shows even moderately elevated cholesterol level boosts dementia risk
By James Limbach, ConsumerAffairs.comElevated cholesterol levels in midlife -- even levels considered only borderline elevated -- significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia later in life, according to a new study by researchers at Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research and the University of Kuopio in Finland.
The four-decade study, appearing in the journal Dementia & Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, found that having high cholesterol in midlife (240 or higher milligrams per deciliter of blood) increases, by 66 percent, the risk for Alzheimer's disease later in life.
Even borderline cholesterol levels (200-239 mg/dL) in midlife raised risk for late-life vascular dementia by nearly the same amount: 52 percent. Vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, is a group of dementia syndromes caused by conditions affecting the blood supply to the brain. Scientists are still trying to pinpoint the genetic factors and lifestyle causes for Alzheimer's disease.
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