Higher risk of heart disease for people with cognitive impairment

April 22, 2022
Higher risk of heart disease for people with cognitive impairment

A study led by Canadian researchers suggest cognitive function could predict a person’s future risk of heart disease. In assessing the relationship between cognitive function and future cardiovascular events in over 8,700 people – who also had type 2 diabetes, the researchers found that people with the lowest level of cognitive function had a higher risk of heart attack and stroke as opposed to those with higher levels of cognitive function.

In the US alone, more than 16 million people are living with cognitive impairment, of which age is a factor. A person with cognitive impairment has trouble remembering past events, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. It ranges from mild to severe and has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Findings of the aforementioned study reveal people with severe cognitive impairment were up to 1.6 times more likely to experience major adverse cardiovascular events, and 1.8 times more likely to experience a stroke or die compared to people without cognitive impairment.

“Our study found low scores on cognitive tests predicted heart disease in people with diabetes and other heart risk factors,” said Dr. Hertzel C. Gerstein of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. “Although the explanation for this remains unclear, proven heart medications should be offered to these patients to reduce their future risk of a heart attack or stroke.”

Read: Excess body fat reduces cognitive function

Category: Features, Health alert

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