Higher birth weight was associated with fewer lacunes (OR per 100g, 0.93 95%CI=0.88-0.99), fewer infarcts (OR=0.94 95%CI=0.89-0.99), and fewer perivascular spaces (OR=0.95 95%CI=0.91-0.99). Higher childhood IQ was associated with lower white matter hyperintensity burden (OR per IQ point=0.99 95%CI 0.98-0.998), fewer infarcts (OR=0.98, 95%CI=0.97-0.998), fewer lacunes (OR=0.98, 95%CI=0.97-0.999), and lower total small vessel disease burden (OR=0.98, 95%CI=0.96-0.999). Low education was associated with more microbleeds (OR=1.90 95%CI=1.33-2.72) and lower total brain volume (MD=-178.86cm3, 95%CI=-325.07- -32.66). Low childhood socioeconomic status was associated with fewer lacunes (OR=0.62, 95%CI=0.40-0.95).
Early life factors are associated with worse small vessel disease in later life, independent of each other, vascular risk factors and adult socioeconomic status. Risk for small vessel disease may originate in early life and provide a mechanistic link between early life factors and risk of stroke and dementia. Policies investing in early child development may contribute to improve lifelong brain health to prevent dementia and stroke in older age
- cerebral small vessel disease