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Mild cognitive impairment rises in heart patients with comorbidities

Key clinical point: The more comorbid conditions a patient with cardiovascular disease has, the greater the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment becomes.

Major finding: For each 1-unit increase in the Charlson Comorbidity Index, the likelihood of prevalent mild cognitive impairment rose by 19%.

Study details: This cross-sectional study assessed the association between mild cognitive impairment and Charlson Comorbidity Index score in 2,161 patients with cardiovascular disease of varied degrees of severity.

Disclosures: The presenter reported having no financial conflicts regarding her study.

Source: Ball J et al. AHA 2017, Abstract 16240



The 2,161 subjects, mean age 70 years and two-thirds male, ranged across the full spectrum of cardiovascular disease, from mild to severe. All were screened for MCI by completing the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or MoCA. A MoCA score below 26 out of a possible 30 is defined as MCI.

Bruce Jancin/Frontline Medical News

Dr. Jocasta Ball

Forty-seven percent of subjects had MCI. They were older, with a mean age of 73 years versus 67 years; were more likely to have a history of stroke, by a margin of 20% versus 12%; had a 52% prevalence of atrial fibrillation versus 44%; and had a 50% prevalence of heart failure versus 39% in subjects with normal cognition. In addition, 48% of the MCI group screened positive for depressive symptoms versus 37% of those without MCI, and 28% of patients with MCI had type 2 diabetes, compared with 22% of those without MCI. Renal disease was also significantly more prevalent in the MCI group, by a margin of 21% versus 14%.

In a multivariate regression analysis, the strongest predictors of MCI in patients across the spectrum of CVD were current smoking, with a 2.5-fold increased risk compared with that of nonsmokers, and atrial fibrillation, with a 1.3-fold increased risk.

Dr. Ball reported having no financial conflicts regarding her study.

SOURCE: Ball J. et al. AHA 2017, Abstract 16240.

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