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The cholesterol link to Alzheimer's

People with high cholesterol level in their mid-life are at greater risk of developing the neurological disease.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Washington
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2008 07:23 PM IST

People with high cholesterol level in their mid-life are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new research has shown. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia among the elderly. Physical inactivity, obesity and a fatty diet contributes to high cholesterol -- a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in the body.

The research, presented at the 60th annual meeting of American Academy of Neurology in Chicago, found that those with high cholesterol levels between ages 40 and 45 were about 50 per cent more likely than those with low cholesterol levels to later develop Alzheimer's disease.

"Our findings show it would be best for both physicians and patients to attack high cholesterol levels in their 40s to reduce the risk of dementia," said study author Alina Solomon, with the University of Kuopio in Finland.

"High mid-life cholesterol increased the risk of Alzheimer's disease regardless of midlife diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and late-life stroke," Solomon was quoted as saying by the online edition of Science Daily.

The study involved 9,752 men and women in northern California who underwent health evaluations between 1964 and 1973 when they were between the ages of 40 and 45 and remained with the same health plan through 1994. From 1994 to 2007, researchers obtained the participants' most recent medical records to find 504 people had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and 162 had vascular dementia, the report said.

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