Cardiovascular Disease Burden and Longitudinal Changes in Cognitive Function among Older Adults: A Narrative Review

Document Type : Narrative Review


Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, India


 Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and cognitive decline both impart a significant burden on the life and livelihood of elderly
people. Growing evidence suggests an association between CVD burden with changes in cognitive outcomes. This narrative review aimed to compile, synthesize, compare, and critique findings from articles of the last 10 years regarding the temporal relationship between CVD burden and cognitive function among older adults. Electronic databases of PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for prospective cohort studies that estimated CVD burden in the form of the presence of CVDs, or assessment of health through CVD risk models and determined temporal change in cognitive function by either detailing cognitive decline or incident dementia/cognitive impairment. Seventeen original articles met with eligibility criteria during the screening process and were included. The follow-up period of the prospective cohort studies ranged from 24 months- 41 years. Framingham General CVD Risk Score and Atrial Fibrillation were the most frequently found CVD risk model and cardiovascular diseases associated with cognitive change, respectively. Incidence of dementia/cognitive impairment in various studies ranged from 4.2-14.9%. All but one of the studies had shown a positive longitudinal association between CVD burden and cognitive decline among the study participants. Consistent findings of the temporal relationship between CVD risk models and cognitive decline in the review pave the way for operationalizing preventive strategies that act on multiple cardiovascular risk factors before old age. Strategic reform and capacity building in pre-existing CVD health infrastructures could effectively reduce the dementia burden of any specific country


Volume 10, Issue 1
March 2023
Pages 463-476
  • Receive Date: 15 October 2022
  • Revise Date: 26 November 2022
  • Accept Date: 10 December 2022
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2023