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


Lai, MMY and Ames, DJ and Cox, KL and Ellis, KA and Sharman, MJR and Hepworth, G and Desmond, P and Cyarto, EV and Szoeke, C and Martins, R and Masters, CL and Lautenschlager, NT, Association between cognitive function and clustered cardiovascular risk of metabolic syndrome in older adults at risk of cognitive decline, Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 24, (3) pp. 300-304. ISSN 1279-7707 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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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:

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12603-020-1333-4


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:metabolic syndrome, cognitive function, cardiovascular risk, obesity
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Neurology and neuromuscular diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sharman, MJR (Dr Matt Sharman)
ID Code:141362
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1005942)
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2020-10-16
Last Modified:2022-08-23
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