Background and Purpose-The natural history of white matter hyperintensity (WMH) progression resulting from normal aging versus comorbid vascular insults remains unclear. Therefore we investigated age-related differences in WMH volumes among a group with comorbid hypertension, abnormal body mass index, and diabetes mellitus to a normal aging group drawn from the same population lacking any of these comorbidities. Methods-WMH volumes were acquired using 3T MRI for 2011 Dallas Heart Study participants. The slope of the WMH versus age regression was compared between normal and comorbidity groups >50 and =50 years of age where a change in slope was demonstrated. Results-Aging was linearly associated with greater log WMH volume for both normal (P=0.02) and comorbidity (P>0.0001) groups. Beyond 50 years of age, more rapid increases in WMH volumes for age were seen in the group with comorbidities (P>0.0001) but not in the normal group (P=0.173). The between-group difference in slope of expected WMH for age was significantly greater in the comorbidity groups =50 years of age (P=0.0008) but not >50 years of age (P=0.752). Conclusions-After 50 years of age, but not before, comorbid hypertension, obesity, and diabetes mellitus were associated with significantly larger WMH volumes for age compared with a normal aging group lacking these conditions. These results support the assertion that age-related differences in WMH volumes are significantly increased in the presence of comorbidities, but the effect is only detectable after 50 years of age.
- White matter hyperintensity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing