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New Study Reveals Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels May help Predict Dementia Risk


A study published on July 5, 2023 in the journal Neurology found that people with high total cholesterol and triglyceride variability—meaning significant changes over the course of the lifespan—seem to have a higher risk of dementia than their peers with more stable cholesterol levels.

As the average age of our population rises, the Alzheimer’s Association projects that this number will soar to 152 million by 2050.

Since this is the case, scientists and medical professionals are focusing their attention on potential causes of cognitive decline and potential solutions to address them early in order to stop or delay the diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in as many people as possible. Triglycerides are one type of cholesterol that is utilised for energy. Triglycerides are a type of fat that the liver excretes to be used in the production of cells and hormones.

We’re still learning more about whether high “bad” (LDL) cholesterol has a direct link to higher dementia risk, while earlier research has suggested that there may be a link between cholesterol variation and dementia. So this study aimed to add to our collective body of information since the link between cholesterol and cognitive decline is still a little hazy.

By the time of the follow-up, dementia diagnoses were 19% more likely to be given to people in the top 20% of total cholesterol variations compared to those in the lowest 20%. A similar trend was observed in the top 20% of triglyceride variability; these participants had a 23% increased risk of dementia compared to those in the bottom 20%. Changes in LDL and HDL didn’t seem to be directly related to the risk of dementia.

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