Subclinical atherosclerosis and subsequent cognitive function

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32 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between measures of subclinical atherosclerosis and subsequent cognitive function. Method: Participants from the Dallas Heart Study (DHS), a population-based multiethnic study of cardiovascular disease pathogenesis, were re-examined 8 years later (DHS-2) with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA); N=1904, mean age=42.9, range 8-65. Associations of baseline measures of subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary artery calcium, abdominal aortic plaque, and abdominal aortic wall thickness) with MoCA scores measured at follow-up were examined in the group as a whole and in relation to age and ApoE4 status. Results: A significant linear trend of successively lower MoCA scores with increasing numbers of atherosclerotic indicators was observed (F(3, 1150)=5.918, p=001). CAC was weakly correlated with MoCA scores (p=047) and MoCA scores were significantly different between participants with and without CAC (M=22.35 vs 23.69, p=0.038). With the exception of a small association between abdominal AWT and MoCA in subjects over age 50, abdominal AWT and abdominal aortic plaque did not correlate with MoCA total score (p≥.052). Cognitive scores and atherosclerosis measures were not impacted by ApoE4 status (p≥.455). Conclusion: In this ethnically diverse population-based sample, subclinical atherosclerosis was minimally associated with later cognitive function in middle-aged adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cognition
  • Dallas heart study
  • MoCA
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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