Rate of cognitive decline accelerates after CHD events
Among adults diagnosed with CHD, there was an accelerated rate of cognitive decline after the event compared with before, according to findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The researchers also noted there should be more attention paid to long-term cognitive deterioration related to CHD.
Wuxiang Xie, PhD, and colleagues investigated the cognitive trajectory before and after incident CHD diagnosis in a cohort of English adults aged 50 years or older.
“Because cognitive function deteriorates naturally with age, even in healthy elderly individuals, it is critical to measure pre-CHD cognitive changes to accurately interpret the influence of CHD on cognitive trajectories,” Xie, an associate professor at the Peking University Clinical Research Institute at the Peking University Health Science Center in China and a research fellow in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Imperial College London School of Public Health, and colleagues wrote.
The researchers analyzed data from 7,888 participants (mean age, 62 years; 58% women) without stroke.
Participants underwent cognitive assessments at baseline wave one between 2002 and 2003 and at least one other time between wave two (2004-2005) and wave eight (2016-2017), Xie and colleagues wrote. Incident CHD was identified as a diagnosis of MI and/or angina during a median follow-up of 12 years.
The researchers found that upon follow-up, 5.6% of participants had incident CHD. The annual rate of cognitive decline before CHD diagnosis was similar in both incident CHD and CHD-free participants.
Compared with participants in the non-CHD group, there was an accelerated rate of cognitive decline in the CHD group after multivariable adjustment (standard deviation per year = – 0.018; 95% CI, –0.029 to –0.007), Xie and colleagues wrote.
Participants with incident CHD also had a faster rate of verbal memory decline (standard deviation per year = –0.015; 95% CI, –0.023 to –0.008) and temporal orientation (standard deviation per year = –0.015; 95% CI, –0.027 to –0.003), the researchers wrote.
Future studies are warranted to determine the precise mechanisms linking incident CHD to cognitive decline, Xie and colleagues wrote.
In a related editorial, Suvi P. Rovio, PhD, Katja Pahkala, PhD, and Olli T. Raitakari, PhD, of the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and the Centre for Population Health Research at the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital in Finland, wrote: “Given that the found associations are causal, the present results suggest that interventions targeted at risk factors for coronary heart disease would additionally not only target the risk factors for cognitive decline, but also the possible trigger affecting the slope of cognitive trajectory. Untangling the complex network of cardiovascular risk factors, cardiovascular diseases and cognitive decline would eventually translate into better cardiovascular and cognitive health.” – by Earl Holland Jr.
Disclosures: The authors and editorial writers report no relevant financial disclosures.