Association of metabolic syndrome with cognitive function: The role of sex and age

Alice Laudisio, Emanuele Marzetti, Francesco Pagano, Alberto Cocchi, Claudio Franceschi, Roberto Bernabei, Giuseppe Zuccalà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & aims: Cognitive impairment is a prevalent condition in older populations, independently associated with disability and mortality. Some studies have suggested a negative correlation between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and cognitive functioning, but results in older subjects are controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of cognitive performance with MetS in an older unselected population. Methods: We evaluated the association of the Hodkinson Abbreviated Mental Test (AMT) score with MetS, as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program's ATP-III criteria, in all 353 subjects aged 75+ living in Tuscania (Italy). Results: MetS was positively associated with the AMT score in multivariable linear regression analysis, after adjusting (B = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.04-0.90; p = 0.03). When the same regression model was analyzed after stratifying for sex, such an association was significant in women (B = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.16-1.36; p = 0.01), but not in men. Also, when the regression model was analyzed in women, MetS was associated with better cognition (B = 1.41, 95% CI = 0.51-2.30; p <0.01) among participants aged 80+. Conclusions: MetS is associated with better cognitive performance in community-dwelling elderly; such an association seems to depend upon the oldest female subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-754
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Cognitive performance
  • Elderly
  • Epidemiology
  • Metabolic syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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