Objective: To evaluate the impact of midlife elevated serum cholesterol levels and blood pressure on the subsequent development of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and to investigate the prevalence of MCI in elderly Finnish population, applying the MCI criteria devised by the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Background: MCI has been considered as a predictor of AD. Vascular risk factors may be important in the development of cognitive impairment and AD. However, the role of vascular risk factors in MCI and the prevalence of MCI still remain virtually unknown.
Methods: Subjects were derived from random, population-based samples previously studied in surveys carried out in 1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987. After an average follow-up of 21 years, 1,449 subjects aged 65 to 79 years were reexamined in 1998.
Results: Eighty-two subjects, 6.1% of the population (average age, 72 years) met the criteria for MCI. Midlife elevated serum cholesterol level (> or =6.5 mmol/L) was a significant risk factor for MCI (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.0, adjusted for age and body mass index); the effect of systolic blood pressure approached significance.
Conclusion: Data point to a role for midlife vascular risk factors in the development of MCI in late life.