Carotid Intima-media Thickness, Cognitive Performance and Cognitive Decline in Stroke-free Middle-aged and Older Adults. The Atahualpa Project

Oscar H. Del Brutto, Robertino M. Mera, Bettsy Y. Recalde, Victor J. Del Brutto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Little is known on factors influencing cognitive function in rural communities. Using the Atahualpa Project cohort, we aimed to assess whether the carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) – used as a surrogate of extracranial carotid atherosclerosis – is associated with cognitive performance and further decline in community-dwelling adults living in a rural setting. Methods: The study included Atahualpa residents aged greater than or equal to 40 years who had ultrasound examination of the extracranial carotid arteries and a baseline Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), as well as the subset of individuals who also had a follow-up MoCA at least 1 year after baseline. Relationship between cIMT and cognitive function was assessed by means of generalized linear and longitudinal models, adjusted for relevant covariates. Mediation analysis was utilized to establish the proportion of the effect between increased cIMT and cognitive performance, which is mediated by age. Results: A total of 561 individuals were included for the cross-sectional study, and 510 of them were assessed for the prospective cohort. Univariate analysis showed a significant association between increased cIMT and worse cognitive performance (P < .001), which vanishes after considering the effect of age and low scholarity. Causal mediation analysis confirms that age captures 82.6% (95% C.I.: 63.9% to 100%) of the effect of this association. There was no relationship between increased cIMT and cognitive decline in the follow-up. Conclusions: In this rural population, the association between increased cIMT and cognitive dysfunction is mostly mediated by increasing age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104576
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • aging
  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • cognitive decline
  • cognitive performance
  • extracranial carotid atherosclerosis
  • population study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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