Time and again, we have come across the need to maintain a sound cardiovascular health. But, little did we know that, this not only important for the heart, but the brain as well. A recent study points out at the need for having a healthy heart for a healthy brain. That is, a good cardiovascular health is needed for better cognitive abilities.
According to the American Heart Association there are seven aspects that are critical for good cardiovascular health. Serum cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index, blood pressure, diet, cigarette smoking, and physical activity are the seven factors. While there are research studies that discuss the effect of cardiovascular health on cognitive abilities, there is little evidence on the impact of environment and genetics.
Studying Twins to Understand the Relation between CVH and Cognitive Abilities
To understand the correlation between CVH and cognitive abilities, researchers studied pairs of twins. Further, researchers say that genetics or similar behavior among other family members may provide information. Studying twins helps scientists understand the role of external factors and genes for a person’s behavior. Also, identical twins share exactly the same genetic make-up while for fraternal twins it is 50%.
Further, if the levels of similarity in identical twins is more than fraternal twins, then it means that genes are responsible for a condition. As a result, the researchers point out that these twin studies help understand the significance of nature vs nurture.
Taking the research ahead, the scientists studied the behavior of twins within pairs. Besides, the wanted to understand if the pattern of relation between CVH and cognitive abilities is different in identical and fraternal twins. As a result, the researchers observe that familial factors like education, early socioeconomic status, parenting, family environment, etc has an impact on the cognitive abilities.