Researchers are reporting that metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors associated with an increased risk heart disease and diabetes, is linked to a higher risk for neurocognitive/mental decline in middle-aged Hispanics/Latinos. The researchers analyzed data from over 9,000 adults aged 45 to 74 years participating in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, an epidemiologic study partly funded by the NHLBI. They found that about 54 percent had metabolic syndrome. Those who had this condition tended to have lower cognitive scores and to satisfy criteria for low mental status, both hallmarks of dementia. The study underscores the importance of managing weight, blood sugar levels, and other elements that affect metabolic syndrome, the researchers said. Their findings appear in Diabetes Care, a publication of the American Diabetes Association.