Your heart is a vital component of your anatomy, responsible for pumping a healthy dose of nutrient-rich blood throughout your entire body. Therefore, the health status of your heart will affect the health of the rest of your body. Dr. Evan Thacker, a chronic disease epidemiologist at Brigham Young University, was the lead researcher of a study that examined the correlation between heart health and mental acuity. The results of the study show that weaker heart health can lead to memory impairment, while stronger heart health supports a sharper mind.
The study examined about 17,800 Americans, 45 years of age or older. Participants were mentally evaluated at the beginning of the study and reexamined again four years later, when the study concluded. Researchers evaluated the condition of the heart based on factors like cholesterol levels, blood pressure, physical activity, diet, smoking, and body mass index to determine the heart’s overall health in each participant. Changes in cognitive ability over the four year time period was linked with the overall health of the heart. Fluency, learning, and memory shortfalls occurred more often in participants with low heart health compared to participants with higher heart health. Researchers also found that higher heart health was more prevalent in participants with higher education and higher income. Memory impairment was also more common in participants with preexisting heart conditions.
The results of the study are an encouraging message to promote a heart healthy lifestyles. It also stresses the need to educate the public about the importance of maintaining individual heart health.
This study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, for additional information consult the Journal’s website or view the entire publication in printed format. If you’re looking to learn more about how you can maintain a healthy heart and the benefits of cardiac monitoring and arrhythmia monitoring, check out the ReactDx Inc. health blog today. Share this post and educate your friends and family of the importance of heart health on mental acuity.