Asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis confers mobility impairment and cognitive dysfunction and increases the risk for falls, according to data presented at the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Annual Meeting.
The researchers analyzed 80 older adults (mean age, 74 years; 47 men) without outward symptoms of carotid stenosis and after carotid ultrasonography stratified them into three groups: no carotid stenosis (n = 54), moderate carotid stenosis (n = 17) and high-grade carotid stenosis (n = 9).
The no-stenosis group had carotid diameter reduction of less than 50%, the moderate group had diameter reduction of 50% to 69% and the high-grade group had diameter reduction of 70% to 99%.
Laila Anthony, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted the following cognitive tests on all participants: Short Physical Performance Battery, Berg Balance Scale, Four Square Step Test, Dynamic Gait Index, Timed Up and Go, gait speed and Mini-Mental State Examination. Participants also responded to the following physical activity assessments: Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, Activities-Specific Balance Confidence and SF-12 Physical Function Component.
The researchers found that reduction in physical and cognitive function and perceived physical activity was related to degree of carotid stenosis (P for Short Physical Performance Battery = .008; P for Berg Balance Scale = .0008; P for Four Square Step Test = .005; P for Dynamic Gait Index = .0001; P for Timed Up and Go = .0004; P for gait speed = .02; P for Activities-Specific Balance Confidence < .0001; P for SF-12 Physical Function Component < .0001; P for Mini-Mental State Examination = .003).
Compared with the no-stenosis group, adults in the moderate and high-grade stenosis groups had greater incidence of falls (RR = 2.86; P = .01), according to the researchers.
“Asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic stenosis is associated with impaired mobility and cognitive function that are accompanied by an increased risk of falls in older adults,” Anthony and colleagues wrote in an abstract. – by Erik Swain
Anthony L, et al. S8: Scientific Session 8. Presented at: Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Annual Meeting; June 20-23, 2018; Boston.
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