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Metabolic syndrome increases risk of memory problems

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results may be at an increased risk of experiencing memory deficiencies later in life, according to a new study from a team of French researchers.

The investigation looked at the effects of a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of symptoms that may include excess body fat, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels and unhealthy cholesterol. Those who have the condition are significantly more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes.

Scientists from the French National Institute of Health Research tested more than 7,000 individuals for the presence of metabolic syndrome. After a period of two and four years, the researchers tested the participants for memory function.

Those who tested positive for metabolic syndrome were 20 percent more likely to show signs of cognitive decline. Specifically, those who had unhealthy cholesterol test results were at the greatest risk of developing memory problems.

"Our results suggest that management of metabolic syndrome may help slow down age-related memory loss, or delay the onset of dementia," said lead investigator Christelle Raffaitin.

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