Low levels of "good" cholesterol may lead to memory loss, a study suggests.
Falling levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) in middle-age may help predict memory problems later in life, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study involved 3,673 participants and found participants with lower HDL levels at age 60 had a 53 per cent increased risk of memory loss compared with those with the higher levels.
Archana Singh-Manoux, lead author of the study and senior research fellow at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and the University College London in England, said the study suggests low HDL cholesterol may also be a risk factor for dementia.
Dr Singh-Manoux added the study's findings should encourage doctors and patients to monitor levels of HDL cholesterol.
Separate research released earlier this month suggests standard neurological tests on older adults may be a useful predictor of health later in life.
Researchers from the Indiana University Centre for Ageing Research suggested in an Archives of Internal Medicine editorial such tests should become part of routine medical examinations of older adults.
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