Urinary Protein Linked to Cognitive Decline in Elderly Women

WASHINGTON – A new study has found that low amounts of albumin in the urine strongly predict faster cognitive decline in older women.

The study involved more than 1,200 women who were phoned every two years for three cycles and tested for general cognition, verbal/word memory, verbal fluency, and working/short-term memory.

Julie Lin of Brigham and Women’s Hospital) and colleagues found that participants with low urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio experienced cognitive decline at a rate 2 to 7 times faster in all cognitive measures than that attributed to aging alone over an average 6 years of follow-up.

“The strongest association was seen with a decline in the verbal fluency score, which has been attributed to progressive small vessel disease in the brain, which supports the view that albuminuria is an early marker of diffuse vascular disease,” said Lin.