Researchers from Kaiser Permanente find that elevated cholesterol levels — even levels just a little bit elevated, in fact — are predictive of dementia in old age.
A four-decade study of 9,844 men and women in northern California found a strong association between cholesterol when people were in their 40s and Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia 40 years later. The epidemiological study didn’t look at possible causes for the link. (There’s always a chance, of course, that something we haven’t thought of yet could cause both cholesterol in middle age and dementia in old age.) But this is not the first study to tie mental acuity with cardiovascular risk factors. It’s one more reason to watch what you eat.