Individuals at risk for stroke also appear to have an increased chance of developing age-related cognitive decline, according to researchers from the University of California.
The team of scientists examined the health of 73 older individuals who had not experienced a stroke or signs of cognitive impairment. While analyzing the data of the participants over a 10-year period, a correlation between physical and mental health was discovered.
"The findings reveal that if you control for age, education and gender, participants with higher risk for stroke perform significantly more poorly in verbal fluency and inhibition, even when controlling for a history of stroke and dementia," said the lead author of the study, Jonathan Gooblar.
As the country grapples with a growing prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and a lack of a cure for the disorder, the findings may provide hope that controlling cardiovascular risks may help stave off dementia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a balanced diet and physical exercise as well as avoiding smoking and excess alcohol consumption for a healthy heart.