Midlife cardiovascular risk impacts executive function: Framingham offspring study

Arvind Nishtala, Sarah R. Preis, Alexa Beiser, Sherral Devine, Lisa Hankee, Sudha Seshadri, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION:: Novel error scores and traditional indices of executive function (EF) were related to cardiovascular risk factors measured 10 to 15 years earlier. METHODS:: From 1991 to 1995, the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (FSRP), a composite score of cardiovascular risk, was ascertained in 1755 Framingham Offspring participants (54% women, mean age=54±9 y). Participants were administered EF tests, which included: FAS and Animals Fluency tests, Trail Making Test B (TrB), and Digit Span-Backwards (DS-B), from 2005 to 2009. Linear and logistic regression were used to relate the FSRP and its components to both error responses and traditional scores. RESULTS:: Consistent with previous findings, the FSRP and the individual components, diabetes and sex, were associated with several traditional measures of EF. Of interest were relationships between the FSRP score and TrB Total Errors (P=0.04), DS-B% Total Errors (P=0.02) and DS-B Capacity Score (P=0.03), and prevalent CVD related to making FAS Perseverations in the 75th percentile (P=0.03). By comparison, FSRP and CVD were not related to the traditional DS-B or FAS scores. In addition, age was associated with higher Animals % Total Errors and % Perseverations among ApoE4+ individuals and with higher TrB Total Errors among ApoE4- individuals. CONCLUSIONS:: For those middle-aged and healthy, including those who are ApoE4+, cardiovascular risk factors are related to impairments in EF as ascertained by novel errors and traditional measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • apolipoproteinE allele 4
  • executive function
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • neuropsychological assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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