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Cognitive Function Poorer with Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is linked with cognitive decline in middle age men and women

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary heart disease is associated with poor cognitive performance in middle age, with greater declines in cognitive function among men with increased time since first coronary event, according to an article published online July 22 in the European Heart Journal.

Archana Singh-Manoux, Ph.D., of the University College London in London, U.K., and colleagues examined data from 5,837 participants in the Whitehall II study to examine the relationship between six measures of cognitive function and both the presence of coronary heart disease and time since first coronary event.

In adjusted analyses, men with coronary heart disease performed lower on tests of reasoning, vocabulary and the mini-mental-state exam compared to patients without coronary heart disease, the study reports. Women with coronary heart disease performed poorer on the same tests plus measures of phonemic and semantic fluency. The researchers found that the longer the duration of coronary heart disease, the lower the scores of cognitive function, particularly in men.

"Our results suggest that even among middle-aged individuals, coronary heart disease is associated with poor cognitive performance with some evidence to suggest a stronger effect among those with longest standing first coronary heart disease event," the authors write. "Our results on the link between coronary heart disease and cognition show the importance for preventive strategies in highlighting the importance of these risk factors not only for coronary heart disease but also cognitive outcomes."

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