Acculturation in older Latino patients may help with maintenance of cardiovascular health, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers evaluated patients enrolled in the Rush Memory and Aging Project or the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center Latino Core. They examined the association between acculturation metrics and the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 score (mLS7). They evaluated health behaviors such as smoking status, physical activity, body mass index, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels. Patients also received annual cognitive evaluations in their preferred language.
The researchers analyzed the data and adjusted for age, sex, education, and depressive symptomatology. The 192 study participants were aged approximately 70 years, were primarily women, and had an average education of 10.9 years. Mean mLS7 scores were 7.37 of a possible 12.
There was a significant association between socioenvironmental composite scores and higher levels of familism and the increase in mLS7 scores over time. Due to this association, the researchers looked more closely at the individual items that comprise that portion of the score. After post hoc analysis, the researchers did not find additional significant associations.
The researchers acknowledged that changes in the definition of ideal cardiovascular health since the inception of the mLS7 are a limitation of this study. Other limitations include the relatively small sample size.
“Further larger-scale studies are needed that incorporate additional factors for acculturation in context as they result to cardiovascular health and how cardiovascular health may interact with acculturation in context to influence cognition over time,” the researchers wrote.
Lamar M, Estrella ML, Capuano AW, et al. A longitudinal study of acculturation in context and cardiovascular health and their effects on cognition among older Latino adults. Journal of the American Heart Association. Published online March 17, 2023. doi:10.1161/JAHA/122/027620.