Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Severe COPD may lead to cognitive impairment

09.07.2009
Severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with lower cognitive function in older adults, according to research from Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Researchers compared cognitive performance in over 4,150 adults with and without COPD and found that individuals with severe COPD had significantly lower cognitive function than those without, even after controlling for confounding factors such as comorbidities.

The results were published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Our findings should raise awareness that adults with severe COPD are at greater risk for developing cognitive impairment, which may make managing their COPD more challenging, and will likely further worsen their general health and quality of life," wrote lead author of the study, William W. Hung, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Patients with COPD may experience periods of hypoxia—low oxygen levels—that might lead to brain abnormalities that could reduce cognitive capacity. Alternatively, hypoxia may cause or exacerbate diseases that are characterized by cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer's disease. Although past studies have observed a higher rate of cognitive impairment among adults with COPD, the relationship has not been formally tested longitudinally in large populations until now.

"We wanted to determine whether the observed relationship between COPD and cognitive impairment was, in fact, something we could document over time, and if so, we wanted to determine whether the degree to which it occurred was significant," said Dr. Hung.

To do so, Dr. Hung and colleagues obtained data from the Health and Retirement Study, a national prospective biennial survey of Americans 50 and older. They included data from survey takers who had undergone cognitive testing in 1996 and again in 1998, 2000 or 2002.

Of the 4,150 individuals ultimately included, 492 had COPD, and of those, about one-third (153) had severe disease. Using a 35-point cognition scale, the researchers found that scores among all patients with COPD declined on average by one point over the six-year period between 1996 and 2002.

After further classifying those with COPD as having severe or nonsevere disease, the researchers found that severity and cognitive decline were linked. Even after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and other confounding factors, the mean cognition scores for those with severe COPD were significantly lower (0.9 points; p=0.01) than those without COPD.

"These objective measures of cognition used in survey research do correlate with functional impairment," said Dr. Hung. In particular, executive functions that require greater cognitive ability, such as handling money and medications, are more poorly performed at greater levels of cognitive impairment. Extrapolating from past research using the same cognitive test, Dr. Hung and colleagues suggest that their findings would likely be associated with a 22 percent increase in the mean number of difficulties the severe COPD population would experience with daily tasks.

"While this number may not appear to be of major concern on the individual level, on a population level, it is roughly equivalent to nearly a quarter of severe COPD patients experiencing difficulty with a basic life skill," said Dr. Hung. "In this regard, these findings have serious implications. Often patients with cognitive difficulties, if undetected and untreated, have lower adherence to their treatment and follow-up regimens, and as a consequence may deteriorate more rapidly and have worse health outcomes."

In conclusion, Dr. Hung suggested that physicians and other clinical staff managing the care of these patients should be aware of their increased risk for cognitive decline and the greater needs and challenges associated with caring for cognitively impaired older adults.

Keely Savoie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.thoracic.org
http://www.thoracic.org/sections/publications/press-releases/resources/0134-0137.pdf

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>