Arterial Health Markers in Relation to Behavior and Cognitive Outcomes at School Age

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Impaired arterial health is associated with a decline in cognitive function and psychopathology in adults. We hypothesized that these associations originate in early life. We examined the associations of blood pressure, common carotid artery intima media thickness, and carotid distensibility with behavior and cognitive outcomes during adolescence. 

METHODS AND RESULTS: 

This study was embedded in the Dutch Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study from early fetal life onwards. Blood pressure, carotid intima media thickness, and carotid distensibility were measured at the age of 10 years. At the age of 13 years, total, internalizing and externalizing problems and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms were measured using the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/6-18), autistic traits were assessed by the Social Responsiveness Scale, and IQ was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition. A 1-SD score higher mean arterial pressure was associated with lower odds of internalizing problems (odds ratio [OR], 0.92 [95% CI, 0.85-0.99]). However, this association was nonsignificant after correction for multiple testing. Carotid intima media thickness and carotid distensibility were not associated with behavior and cognitive outcomes at 13 years old. 

CONCLUSIONS: 

From our results, we cannot conclude that the associations of blood pressure, carotid intima media thickness, and carotid distensibility at age 10 years with behavior and cognitive outcomes are present in early adolescence. Further follow-up studies are needed to identify the critical ages for arterial health in relation to behavior and cognitive outcomes at older ages.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere029771
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors.

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