Omaha, NE, (May 5, 2014) - As travel nursing professionals know, the heart is the engine of our bodies. It powers everything we do, providing necessary nutrients to muscles and organs like the brain. Healthcare staffing agency, Aureus Medical Group, shares a new study that links heart health to mental function.
While a healthy mind and strong heart have always been intimately related, new research indicates that young adults with healthy blood pressure have better thinking and memory skills later in midlife than those with higher blood pressure.
Previous studies have relied on single assessments of cardiovascular risk factors that may not accurately reflect long-term exposure. They have also connected poor fitness and heart health in middle age to declining mental function and dementia around age 70 or 80, but this new study suggests the relationship begins much earlier. People as young as 18 years old are now affected by cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure, tobacco use, increased blood glucose (diabetes), physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, cholesterol and obesity.
"We know these risk factors are important later in life but what is new is that they seem to be important for cognitive health even going from young to mid adulthood," lead author Dr. Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters Health. "This is the first time anyone has shown this."
For the study, researchers from UCSF followed 3,381 young people who were initially ages 18 to 30, for 25 years. Every two to five years the subjects were evaluated for blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
At the 25-year mark, each participant underwent three tests meant to assess memory and learning, brain aging and decision processing speed. The study took into account people's height, weight, age, smoking status, alcohol use, race and education.
Read the full article for more on the results of the study.
About Aureus Medical Group:
Aureus Medical Group is a national leader in healthcare staffing specializing in the successful placement of Nursing, Advanced Practice, Cardiopulmonary, Diagnostic Imaging, Medical Laboratory, Neurodiagnostics, Radiation Oncology, and Rehabilitation Therapy professionals, as well as Physicians, in hospitals and medical facilities nationwide. With more than 30 years of experience, Aureus Medical offers a full range of staffing options, including national contract (travel), local contract, and direct hire. Aureus Medical is the largest affiliate of Omaha-based C&A Industries, a leading provider of human capital management solutions for more than 45 years.