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HHS HealthBeat (February 28, 2013)

The heart and the brain

Person making a heart with hands.

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Lower your risk

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Your heart and your brain work together. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that having heart disease can increase your risk of cognitive impairment. The study included more than 1,450 people ages 70 and older. Participants with heart disease, especially women, had a higher risk of experiencing declined cognitive function.

Rosebud Roberts led the study in Rochester, Minnesota.

“They have problems with judgment. They have problems with making decisions. They may have problems with language. Or they may have problems with what we call visual/spacial abilities.”

Women and men can reduce their risk of heart disease by doing some simple things. Eat right, including less sodium, be physically active, and don’t smoke.

The study in JAMA Neurology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: March 20, 2013