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PREDICTING DEMENTIA

A SNAPSHOT OF CHOLESTEROL DOESN’T IDENTIFY WOMEN WHO GO ON TO DEVELOP DEMENTIA, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

High cholesterol levels in midlife don’t predict the development of Alzheimer’s disease for women, a study by Michelle Mielke and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has found.

MIELKE: Our most recent paper looked at cholesterol over 32 years in a population based study of women in Sweden.  One of the advantages of our study which other studies haven’t done is look at cholesterol levels consecutively over the 32 year follow up.  If you only look at cholesterol in midlife and then follow up those people who are alive in late life it does look like cholesterol is a risk factor and we also found a trend in our paper, but when you look in midlife cholesterol as a predictor including the people who don’t survive then it doesn’t appear to be a predictor of dementia.    :31

So the search for factors that do predict one’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continues, and high cholesterol in midlife isn’t one of them.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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