Background: The present study was designed to examine the association of circulating cholesterol
with cognitive function in non-demented community aging adults.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study including 1754 Chinese adults aged 55-80 years. The association
between serum cholesterol levels and cognitive function was examined. Participants were categorized
into four groups according to the quartile of circulating TC (total cholesterol), High Density
Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-c), Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-c) levels and HDLc/
LDL-c ratio. The difference in cognitive performance among the groups was compared. Logistic regression
model was used to determine the association of circulating cholesterol level with the risk of
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).
Results: Mild increase of serum LDL-c level correlated with better visual and executive, language,
memory and delayed recall abilities. Higher circulating TC and HDL-c levels were found to be associated
with poorer cognitive function, especially in aging female subjects. Higher circulating TC, HDL-c
and HDL/LDL ratio indicated an increased risk of MCI, especially in female subjects.
Conclusion: Slight increase in circulating LDL-c level might benefit cognitive function in aging adults.
However, higher circulating TC and HDL-c levels might indicate a decline of cognitive function, especially
in aging female subjects.