DOI: 10.1002/alz.13712 ISSN: 1552-5260

Brain artery diameters and risk of dementia and stroke

Jesus D. Melgarejo, Kursat Gurel, Cassidy Rose Compton, Minghua Liu, Vanessa Guzman, Stephanie Assuras, Bonnie E. Levin, Mitchell S. V. Elkind, M. Kamran Ikram, Maryam Kavousi, M. Arfan Ikram, Clinton Wright, Fabrice Crivello, Alexandre Laurent, Christophe Tzourio, Meike W. Vernooij, Tatjana Rundek, Zhen‐Yu Zhang, Daniel Bos, Jose Gutierrez
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



We tested the association of brain artery diameters with dementia and stroke risk in three distinct population‐based studies using conventional T2‐weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images.


We included 8420 adults > 40 years old from three longitudinal population‐based studies with brain MRI scans. We estimated and meta‐analyzed the hazard ratios (HRs) of the brain and carotids and basilar diameters associated with dementia and stroke.


Overall and carotid artery diameters > 95th percentile increased the risk for dementia by 1.74 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13–2.68) and 1.48 (95% CI, 1.12–1.96) fold, respectively. For stroke, meta‐analyses yielded HRs of 1.59 (95% CI, 1.04–2.42) for overall arteries and 2.11 (95% CI, 1.45–3.08) for basilar artery diameters > 95th percentile.


Individuals with dilated brain arteries are at higher risk for dementia and stroke, across distinct populations. Our findings underline the potential value of T2‐weighted brain MRI‐based brain diameter assessment in estimating the risk of dementia and stroke.

More from our Archive