The frequency and influence of dementia risk factors in prodromal Alzheimer's disease

Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Aug:56:33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.03.034. Epub 2017 Apr 8.


We investigated whether dementia risk factors were associated with prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD) according to the International Working Group-2 and National Institute of Aging-Alzheimer's Association criteria, and with cognitive decline. A total of 1394 subjects with mild cognitive impairment from 14 different studies were classified according to these research criteria, based on cognitive performance and biomarkers. We compared the frequency of 10 risk factors between the subgroups, and used Cox-regression to examine the effect of risk factors on cognitive decline. Depression, obesity, and hypercholesterolemia occurred more often in individuals with low-AD-likelihood, compared with those with a high-AD-likelihood. Only alcohol use increased the risk of cognitive decline, regardless of AD pathology. These results suggest that traditional risk factors for AD are not associated with prodromal AD or with progression to dementia, among subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Future studies should validate these findings and determine whether risk factors might be of influence at an earlier stage (i.e., preclinical) of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Biomarkers; IWG-2 criteria; NIA-AA criteria; Prognosis; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology*
  • Biomarkers
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology
  • Depression
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers