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Association between metabolic syndrome and risk of incident dementia in UK Biobank

Qureshi D, Collister J, Allen N, Ku┼║ma E, Littlejohns T (2023) Alzheimer's and Dementia Sep 7 doi: 10.1002/alz.13439 

Web URL: Read this article on PubMed


Introduction: The association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and incident dementia remains inconclusive.

Methods: In 176,249 dementia-free UK Biobank participants aged ≥60 years at baseline, Cox proportional-hazards models were used to investigate the association between MetS and incident dementia. MetS was defined as the presence of ≥3 of the following: elevated waist circumference, triglycerides, blood pressure, blood glucose, and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Results: Over 15 years of follow-up (median = 12.3), 5255 participants developed dementia. MetS was associated with an increased risk of incident dementia (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06, 1.18). The association remained consistent when restricting to longer follow-up intervals: >5 to 10 years (HR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.27) and >10 years (HR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.32). Stronger associations were observed in those with ≥4 MetS components and in apolipoprotein-E (APOE)-ε4 non-carriers.

Discussion: In this large population-based prospective cohort, MetS was associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Highlights: MetS was associated with a 12% increased risk of incident all-cause dementia. Associations remained similar after restricting the analysis to those with longer follow-up. The presence of four or five MetS components was significantly associated with dementia. Stronger associations were observed in those with a low genetic risk for dementia.