Stress May Lead to Lower Cognitive Function, Study Finds

Atlanta: People with elevated stress levels are more likely to experience a decline in cognitive function, a new study found, affecting their capacity to remember, concentrate and learn new things.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, did find that participants with elevated stress levels were more likely to have uncontrolled cardiovascular risk factors and poor lifestyle factors.

But even after adjusting for many of these physical risk factors, people with elevated stress levels were 37% more likely to have poor cognition, the researchers found.

People who struggle with memory slips can be stressed because of the challenges that brings. But the new study suggests that the connection goes the other way, too, with feelings of stress leading to harmful effects on cognition, said Dr. Ambar Kulshreshtha, an associate professor of preventive medicine and epidemiology at Emory University and co-author of the study.

“Stress not only worsens your current cognition, but it can actually have harmful effects in the long-term as well,” he said.

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