No independent association between pulse wave velocity and dementia: a population-based, prospective study

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Abstract

Objective:

Carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV), a marker of aortic stiffness, has been associated with cognitive test results and markers of cerebral small vessel disease, but its association with dementia has not been studied in detail. Our aim was to assess the association of CFPWV with prevalent and incident dementia in a large population-based study.

Methods:

In total, CFPWV was measured in 3056 participants of the Malmö Diet and Cancer study 2007–2012 (age range 61–85 years). Individuals scoring below preset cut-offs on cognitive screening tests were thoroughly evaluated for prevalent dementia. Also, dementia diagnoses were retrieved from the Swedish National Patient Register up until 31 December 2014, and then validated through medical records and neuroimaging findings.

Results:

We identified 159 cases of dementia, of which 57 were classified as prevalent, and 102 as incident during a median follow-up of 4.6 years. In fully adjusted logistic regressions, CFPWV was not associated with prevalent all-cause dementia (odds ratio 0.95 per 1 m/s increase in CFPWV, 95% confidence interval 0.83–1.08), and it did not predict incident all-cause dementia (odds ratio 1.00, 95% confidence interval 0.91–1.09). Neither was CFPWV associated with subtypes of dementia (Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, mixed dementia), although the number of cases in subgroups were low.

Conclusion:

No independent association was found between CFPWV and dementia. It remains a matter of debate why CFPWV repeatedly has been associated with cognitive test results and markers of cerebral small vessel disease, but not with dementia.

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