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Cumulative Exposure to Metabolic Syndrome Components and the Risk of Dementia: A Nationwide Population-Based Study
Yunjung Cho, Kyungdo Han, Da Hye Kim, Yong-Moon Park, Kun-Ho Yoon, Mee Kyoung Kim, Seung-Hwan Lee
Endocrinol Metab. 2021;36(2):424-435.   Published online April 14, 2021
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
Metabolic disturbances are modifiable risk factors for dementia. Because the status of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components changes over time, we aimed to investigate the association of the cumulative exposure to MetS and its components with the risk of dementia.
Adults (n=1,492,776; ≥45-years-old) who received health examinations for 4 consecutive years were identified from a nationwide population-based cohort in Korea. Two exposure-weighted scores were calculated: cumulative number of MetS diagnoses (MetS exposure score, range of 0 to 4) and the composite of its five components (MetS component exposure score, range of 0 to 20). Hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) values for dementia were analyzed using the multivariable Cox proportional-hazards model.
Overall, 47.1% of subjects were diagnosed with MetS at least once, and 11.5% had persistent MetS. During the mean 5.2 years of follow-up, there were 7,341 cases (0.5%) of incident dementia. There was a stepwise increase in the risk of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia with increasing MetS exposure score and MetS component exposure score (each P for trend <0.0001). The HR of all-cause dementia was 2.62 (95% CI, 1.87 to 3.68) in subjects with a MetS component exposure score of 20 compared with those with a score of 0. People fulfilling only one MetS component out of 20 already had an approximately 40% increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
More cumulative exposure to metabolic disturbances was associated with a higher risk of dementia. Of note, even minimal exposure to MetS components had a significant effect on the risk of dementia.


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