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Persistent Viral Pathogens and Cognitive Impairment across the Life Course in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Citation

Tarter, Kara D.; Simanek, Amanda M.; Dowd, Jennifer Beam; & Aiello, Allison E. (2014). Persistent Viral Pathogens and Cognitive Impairment across the Life Course in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 209(6), 837-844. PMCID: PMC3935478

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Herpesviruses have been linked to cognitive impairment in older individuals but little is known about the association in the general US population.
METHODS: We determined whether cytomegalovirus (CMV) and herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) seropositivity were associated with cognitive impairment among children (aged 6-16 years) and adults aged 20-59 or >/=60 years, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III. Linear and logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between pathogen seropositivity and cognitive impairment.
RESULTS: Among children, HSV-1 seropositivity was associated with lower reading and spatial reasoning test scores (beta, -0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.18 to -.21 and beta, -0.82; 95% CI, -1.29 to -.36, respectively). Among middle-aged adults, HSV-1 and CMV seropositivity were associated with impaired coding speed (odds ratio [OR], 1.54; 95% CI, 1.13-2.11, and OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.09-1.82, respectively). CMV seropositivity was also associated with impaired learning and recall (OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.14-1.80). Among older adults, HSV-1 seropositivity was associated with immediate memory impairment (OR, 3.26; 95% CI, 1.68-6.32).
CONCLUSIONS: Future studies examining the biological pathways by which herpesviruses influence cognitive impairment across the life course are warranted.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jit616

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2014

Journal Title

Journal of Infectious Diseases

Author(s)

Tarter, Kara D.
Simanek, Amanda M.
Dowd, Jennifer Beam
Aiello, Allison E.

PMCID

PMC3935478