Objective: Military Veterans have a high rate of medical conditions, including cerebrovascular risk factors such as hypertension. Although the impact of vascular risk factors on cognition has been established, research investigating these variables among the military Veteran population is lacking. The present study investigated the relationship between vascular risk and executive functioning among a military Veteran clinical sample. Method: This study was a retrospective chart review of neuropsychological data from an urban Department of Veterans Affairs medical center. Veterans were eligible if they had completed the Controlled Word Association Test (COWAT), trials three and four of the Color-Word Interference subtest of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System (DKEFS), and Trail Making Test, Parts A and B. The sample included 73 Veterans (61 male, 12 female; 43 African American, 30 Caucasian). The mean level of education was 14.16 years (SD = 2.61). Multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between number of vascular risk factors and cognitive performance, controlling for demographic variables. Results: Eighty-two percent of the sample had history of at least one vascular risk factor, and 64% had two or more (64.4%). Results revealed that number of vascular risk factors was a significant predictor of performance on FAS (B = −1.98; p < .05) and total errors for trial 4 of the DKEFS (B = 1.09; p < .01). Conclusion: These findings suggest that vascular risk factors are associated with poorer executive functioning in Veterans. Given the prevalence of vascular risk factors in this population, Veterans may be at especially high risk for declines in areas such as task initiation and inhibition.
NEUROLOGICAL AND NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS: CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASE
The Impact of Vascular Risk Factors on Executive Functioning in a Military Veteran Sample
S Namazi, S Brooks Holliday, E Aucone, C Hansen; NEUROLOGICAL AND NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS: CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASE
The Impact of Vascular Risk Factors on Executive Functioning in a Military Veteran Sample. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 488. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.06
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