Current Epidemiology Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 347–363 | Cite as

Association of Cardiovascular Health and Cognition

  • Ambar KulshreshthaEmail author
  • Jannat Saini
  • Taylor German
  • Alvaro Alonso
Cardiovascular Disease (R Foraker, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Cardiovascular Disease


Purpose of Review

More than a third of dementia cases are potentially attributable to modifiable risk factors. The objective of this review is to summarize the evidence linking overall cardiovascular health (CVH) profile and modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRF) with cognition.

Recent Findings

We conducted online searches for all relevant literature describing the relationship between CVDRF, overall CVH profile, and dementia. Studies have shown a positive association with the presence of clinical or subclinical CVD and accelerated cognitive decline. Individual CVH factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, physical activity, and diet are independently associated with cognition. The association is, however, less clear for dyslipidemia and obesity. The mechanisms that define these associations are complex and mainly derived from vascular and cellular pathways affecting amyloid beta burden and brain volume.


This review summarizes salient literature that highlight the role of a favorable CVH profile and optimum CVDRF levels, particularly in midlife to prevent decline in cognitive function.


Cardiovascular diseases Cognition Cardiovascular health Dementia Risk factors Epidemiology 


Compliance With Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ambar Kulshreshtha was supported by grant from the Alzheimer’s Association, AACSFD-17- 533468. Alvaro Alonso was supported by NIH grant U01HL096902 and American Heart Association grant 16EIA26410001. Jannat Saini and Taylor German each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ambar Kulshreshtha
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jannat Saini
    • 2
  • Taylor German
    • 3
  • Alvaro Alonso
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Family and Preventive MedicineEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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