Author(s): Schubert CR, Fischer ME, Pinto AA, Chen Y, Klein BEK,Klein R, Tsai MY, Tweed TS, Cruickshanks KJ. Brain Aging in Midlife: The Beaver Dam Offspring Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Apr 1. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15886. [Epub ahead of print]
Journal: Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society, Apr 2019
OBJECTIVES Middle age has been identified as a critical time period for health later in life. Identifying factors associated with worse brain function in middle-aged adults may help identify ways to preserve brain function with aging. Our objective was to evaluate factors associated with a novel measure of brain aging in middle-aged and older adults.
DESIGN Longitudinal cohort study.
SETTING Beaver Dam Offspring Study (BOSS) baseline (2005-2008), 5-year (2010-2013), and 10-year examinations (2015-2017).
PARTICIPANTS A total of 2285 adults, 22 to 84 years of age, with complete sensorineural and neurocognitive data at the 5-year examination.
MEASUREMENTS Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed combining 5-year sensorineural (hearing, vision, olfaction) and cognitive (Trail Making Test A and B, Digit Symbol Substitution Test, Verbal Fluency Test, Auditory Verbal Learning Test) test data. Participants with a standardized PCA score less than -1 were classified as having brain aging. Incident brain aging was defined as a PCA score less than -1 at 10 years among participants who had a PCA score of -1 or higher at 5 years. Logistic regression and Poisson models were used to estimate associations between baseline factors and prevalent or incident brain aging, respectively.
RESULTS Older age, being male, current smoking, larger waist circumference, not consuming alcohol, cardiovascular disease, and interleukin-6 were associated with greater odds of prevalent brain aging, whereas more education and exercise were associated with decreased odds. In addition to age and sex, less than a college education, higher levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, diabetes, depressive symptoms, and history of head injury were associated with an increased 5-year risk of incident brain aging.
CONCLUSION In the current study, vascular and inflammatory factors were associated with a new brain aging marker in middle-aged and older adults. Many of these factors are modifiable, highlighting the importance of addressing health and lifestyle factors in midlife to potentially preserve function for better brain health later in life.