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Memory Impairment Prevalent in Elderly With Heart Failure

Severity of memory impairment increases with increasing severity of heart failure

Memory Impairment Prevalent in Elderly With Heart Failure

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults with chronic heart failure, memory impairment is common, with impairment correlating positively with heart failure severity, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Olivier Hanon, M.D., Ph.D., from the Hôpital Broca in Paris, and colleagues examined the prevalence of memory impairment in ambulatory patients (aged ≥70 years) with chronic heart failure. From January to November 2009, 291 cardiologists recruited 912 ambulatory patients with heart failure (mean age, 79.2 years). The delayed-recall Memory Impairment Screen (MIS-D) was used to evaluate memory, with memory impairment and severe memory impairment defined as a MIS-D score of ≤6 and ≤4, respectively.

The researchers identified memory impairment and severe memory impairment in 45.6 and 23.4 percent of participants, respectively, while before MIS evaluation, cardiologists suspected memory impairment in 12 percent. Older age, lower education level, depression, history of stroke, renal failure, and less regular physical activity were determinants of memory disorders. There was a positive correlation between the severity of memory impairment and the severity of heart failure (New York Heart Association classification, P < 0.00001).

"This study found that memory impairment was frequent in patients with chronic heart failure and often underrecognized by cardiologists," the authors write. "Memory impairment can be detected easily using a simple test, which is important because memory deficits may have implications for drugs and lifestyle compliance."

Several authors disclosed receiving honoraria from Menarini as consultants related to the study.

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