Good heart health benefits your brain, a new study suggests.

People with poor heart health are more likely to develop mental impairment than those with healthy hearts, according to researchers.

The study looked at about 17,800 Americans, aged 45 and older, who underwent tests of mental function at the start of the study and again four years later.

After accounting for differences in age, sex, race and education, the investigators found that learning, memory and verbal skills deficits developed in 4.6 percent of people with the poorest heart health, 2.7 percent of those with intermediate heart health and 2.6 percent of those with the most healthy hearts.

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