Poor Mental Skills Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Disease Risk.

People with poor thinking skills related to planning, problem-solving, and reasoning may be at a greater risk for either a heart attack or stroke. Researchers analyzed data concerning 3,926 individuals with an average age of 75 who had no history of heart attack, stroke, or dementia. They found that individuals with low scores on tests measuring executive function were 85% more likely to have a heart attack and 51% more likely to suffer a stroke than their peers with high executive function scores during the following three years. Lead researcher Dr. Benham Sabayan adds, “These results show that heart and brain function are more closely related than appearances would suggest… While these results might not have immediate clinical translation, they emphasize that assessment of cognitive function should be part of the evaluation of future cardiovascular risk.”