CHD accelerates cognitive decline in dementia

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Takeaway 

  • In older patients with late-onset dementia, the course of cognitive decline is influenced by the presence of coronary heart disease (CHD).
  • GPs should ensure that patients with dementia receive optimal treatment for progression of arteriosclerosis.

Why this matters 

  • The effect of CHD on cognitive decline in existing Alzheimer’s disease has rarely been investigated.

Study design

  • The study included patients with mixed dementia (n=118; mean age, 85.6 [±3.4] y); presence of CHD was assessed.
  • Using Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SoB), cognitive performance was measured every 6 mo during a period of 3 y during home visits.
  • Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Key results

  • At baseline, 65 patients (55%) had CHD or a heart condition after a myocardial infarction.
  • Cognitive decline (MMSE, P<.05) accelerated by about 66% with the presence of CHD and cognitive-functional ability (CDRSoB, P<.05) reduced by about 83%.
  • No significant effect of CHD on survival (HR, 0.98; P=.941) was observed.

Limitations

  • Small sample-size.