Abstract 248: Baseline Cognitive Impairment a Predictor of Mortality in Cardiovascular Disease
Objective: Few longitudinal studies have examined outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in relation to earlier, baseline cognitive function, or examined the relationship between specific cognitive domains and mortality. This study attempted to clarify the relationship between cognitive function and long-term outcomes, particularly mortality, in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Methods: One hundred seventy seven participants between 55 and 85 years of age with an established history CVD were recruited from healthcare institutions. A comprehensive neurophysiological test battery was administered to all patients at baseline assessing 4 cognitive domains: language, visual-spatial, memory, and attention-executive function. Composite scores were calculated by averaging z-scores of all component measures. At 6-year the follow-up, of the 136 patients who were still enrolled, the 116 who were still alive were contacted by phone for assessment of level of independent living, and subjective assessment of cognitive function, and quality of life.Results were corrected for age.
Results: At follow-up, participants who were deceased had significantly lower baseline attention-executive function (M=-0.51, SD=0.78 vs. M=0.06, SD=0.54 in survivors, p < 0.01). Poorer memory performance at baseline was associated with a greater degree of cognitive dysfunction at follow-up (p = 0.085). No significant relationships were found between baseline cognitive performance and independent living status or quality of life.
Conclusion: Impaired executive function was predictive of poorer outcomes, specifically, 6-year mortality. This finding reinforces the frontal nature of vascular cognitive impairments, especially in regard to the long term sequelae of cognitive dysfunction in patients with CVD. The higher mortality observed in patients with baseline executive domain impairment may be due to behaviors such as impaired self-care, treatment adherence and rehab participation or functional impairments that exacerbate health problems, resulting in death. Patients with cardiovascular disease and executive function impairment should be identified and measures taken to address these potential problems.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.