Demonstrating the case that AD is a vascular disease: epidemiologic evidence

Ageing Res Rev. 2002 Feb;1(1):61-77. doi: 10.1016/s0047-6374(01)00364-5.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent type of dementia in old age. The pathology of AD is not well understood. One hypothesis states that AD has a vascular basis. This hypothesis is controversial because AD has traditionally been studied and treated as a separate disease from vascular dementia. This article reviews the epidemiologic evidence supporting an association between AD and two major vascular risk factors-blood pressure and diabetes. Both methodologic and biologic explanations for these associations are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology*