A new study has found coronary heart disease (CHD) to be associated with lower levels of performance in mental processes and verbal skills.
The longer the time period since a diagnosis of heart disease had been made, there was an increasingly low level of mental performance, according to the research published in the online European Heart Journal.
In addition, the scientists found this effect was more significant in men than in women.
Research-leader Dr Archana Singh-Manoux pointed out that CHD is a major health issue in the developed world and is associated with several modifiable risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure.
She went on to say the link between CHD and mental processes shown by the study reiterates the importance of preventive measures "by highlighting the impact of these risk factors not only on CHD but also on people's cognitive functioning".
A professor of neurosurgery and physiological science at the University of California recently suggested that omega-3 fatty acids consumed in foods like salmon and walnuts can offer protection against dementia.
Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, based at the Los Angeles School of Medicine campus, also said that fast food has a negative effect on the workings of the brain.
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