The impact of arterial stiffness on cognitive status in elderly diabetic patients

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With age, arteries become more rigid and pulse waves propagate faster. The pathogenic mechanisms that causes vascular stiffness in type 2 diabetes are complex but incompletely understood. An important element in the development of this phenomenon appears to be insulin resistance. One of the first line health problems that persist in the present is the failure to detect cardiovascular diseases in the preclinical stage which is important since more frequent cardiac events (myocardial infarction, sudden death) occur in people without obvious cardiovascular pathology in the medical history. One of the degenerative diseases with the greatest impact on the autonomy is dementia of elderly people. Recent studies have shown the association and even the possible involvement of cardiovascular risk factors and arterial stiffness in the pathogenesis of dementia and cognitive impairment. Although pulse wave velocity in the aorta is related to subclinical coronary atherosclerosis (being an important biomarker of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic individuals), arterial stiffness is also a predictor of cognitive performance, cognitive decline or dementia.

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