Background: The association between cognitive scores in young adulthood and long-term cardiometabolic risks remains unclear.
Methods: Using population-based registries, we followed 6502 military conscripts from their 22nd birthday until death, emigration, or 55 years of age. We calculated risks and hazard ratios (HRs) associating quartiles of cognitive scores (very high, high, moderate, and low) with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, venous thromboembolism, and death before age 55 years.
Results: The 33-year risk of the combined outcome was inversely associated with cognitive scores (26% for low and 16% for very high scores). Compared with very high scores, the HR for the combined outcome was 1.20 (95% confidence interval = 1.02, 1.41) for high, 1.43 (1.22, 1.68) for moderate, and 1.67 (1.43, 1.95) for low scores. Similar HRs were observed for individual outcomes.
Conclusion: Low cognitive score in young adulthood was a strong predictor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular morbidity, and death before 55 years of age.