ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Across the spectrum of cardiovascular disease, the more comorbid conditions a patient has, the higher the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment, Jocasta Ball, PhD, reported at the American Heart Association scientific sessions.
Indeed, her cross-sectional analysis of baseline data on 2,161 participants in five randomized controlled trials of nurse-led chronic disease management in cardiovascular disease (CVD) showed that for every 1-unit increase in the age-adjusted Charlson Comorbidity Index, the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) jumped by 19%.
This novel observation has important clinical implications: “MCI is becoming increasingly recognized as exerting a powerful and negative impact on the risk, management, and prognosis of CVD patients,” explained Dr. Ball of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. “Because MCI undermines a patient’s ability to comply with medical treatment and adds to patient complexity, it is critical [to identify] higher-risk individuals who require closer surveillance and improved early intervention.”
She added that the findings open up a whole new field of research aimed at developing new interventions to help patients with CVD and MCI stay on track with their heart disease treatment program.