Carotid artery atherosclerosis is a major risk factor for stroke and subsequent cognitive impairment. Prospective population studies have shown associations between carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and stenosis and cognitive decline and dementia in elderly stroke-free persons, whereas results in the middle-aged are conflicting.
In this prospective population-based study, 4,371 stroke-free middle-aged participants underwent carotid ultrasound examination and assessment of vascular risk factors at baseline and were tested for cognitive function 7 years later. Associations between IMT, number of plaques and total plaque area and cognitive test scores on verbal memory test, digit symbol-coding test and tapping test were assessed in linear regression models.
In the multivariable analyses adjusted for sex, age, education, depression and vascular risk factors, the presence of plaques was significantly associated with lower test scores on the verbal memory test (p = 0.01) and on the digit symbol-coding test (p = 0.03). The number of plaques (p = 0.01) and the total plaque area (p = 0.02) were associated with lower scores on the verbal memory test. No significant association was seen between common carotid artery IMT and cognitive test scores. The tapping test was not associated with the carotid ultrasound variables.
In this middle-aged general population, subclinical carotid atherosclerosis measured as the presence of plaques, number of plaques and total plaque area were independent long-term predictors of lower cognitive test scores.
Department of Neuroscience, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Uppsala University, 75185 Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Women's and Children's Health, Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Unit, Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND), Karolinska Institutet, 11330 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Prior research has indicated that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms may be associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviour (RSB). However, research on this association among adolescents has been comparatively limited and mainly confined to North America. The aim of this study was to examine if inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms were linked to RSB in a community cohort sample of Russian adolescents.
The study was based on a group of 537 adolescents from Northern Russia. Information on inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity as well as conduct problems was obtained through teacher ratings, while information on RSB (previous unprotected sex, number of sexual partners, sex while intoxicated and partner pregnancies), substance use, perception of risk, and parenting behaviour was based on students' self-reports. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to examine associations between the variables.
Teacher-rated inattention symptoms predicted RSB, independently of co-morbid conduct problems, substance use, risk perception, and different parenting styles (parental warmth, involvement and control). In addition, male sex, binge drinking and a lower assessment of perceived risk were all significantly associated with RSB in an adjusted model. Neither teacher-rated hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms nor conduct problems were linked to RSB in the full model.
Deficits in planning and organizing behaviours, being easily distracted and forgetful seem to be of importance for RSB in Russian adolescents. This highlights the importance of discriminating between different ADHD symptoms in adolescence to prevent risk behaviours and their potentially detrimental outcomes on health and well-being.