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Abstract

Cerebral white matter lesions are a common finding on MRI in elderly persons. We studied the prevalence of white matter lesions and their relation with classic cardiovascular risk factors, thrombogenic factors, and cognitive function in an age- and gender-stratified random sample from the general population that consisted of 111 subjects 65 to 84 years of age. Overall, 27% of subjects had white matter lesions. The prevalence and severity of lesions increased with age. A history of stroke or myocardial infarction, factor VIIc activity, and fibrinogen level were each significantly and independently associated with the presence of white matter lesions. Significant relations with blood pressure level, hypertension, and plasma cholesterol were present only for subjects aged 65 to 74 years. White matter lesions tended to be associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function and were significantly associated with subjective mental decline. This study suggests that classic cardiovascular risk factors, as well as thrombogenic factors, are associated with white matter lesions in subjects over 65 years of age in the general population, and that these lesions may be related to cognitive function.

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Published In

Neurology®
Volume 44Number 7July 1994
Pages: 1246
PubMed: 8035924

Publication History

Published online: July 1, 1994
Published in print: July 1994

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Affiliations & Disclosures

M.M.B. Breteler, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
J. C. van Swieten, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
M. L. Bots, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
D. E. Grobbee, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
J. J. Claus, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
J. H.W. van den Hout, MD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
F. van Harskamp, MD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
H. L.J. Tanghe, MD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
P. T.V.M. de Jong, MD, PhD, FCOpth
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
J. van Gijn, MD, FRCPE
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
A. Hofman, MD, PhD
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs. Breteler, Bots, Grobbee, Claus, and Hofman), Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. van Swieten and van Gijn), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; the University Department of Neurology (Drs. Claus and van Harskamp), Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the University Department of Radiology (Dr. van den Hout), University of Utrecht, Utrecht; and the University Departments of Radiology (Dr. Tanghe) and Ophthalmology (Dr. de Jong), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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