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Brain and Mental Performance

Mild Cognitive Impairment Raises Risk of Death

10 years ago

4647  0
Posted on Sep 26, 2011, 6 a.m.

Cognitive impairment, even when detected at an early, mild stage, is a significant predictor of decreased life expectancy.

Cognitive impairment affects memory and thinking. Approximately 4 million to 5 million people in the United States have dementia, and the number of individuals affected is significantly higher if individuals with milder forms of cognitive impairment are included. The prevalence of cognitive impairment at all stages is expected to increase as the population ages.   Cognitive impairment, even when detected at an early, mild stage, is a significant predictor of decreased life expectancy.  Greg A. Sachs, from Indiana University School of Medicine (Indiana, USA), and colleagues followed 3,957 patients, ages 60 to 102 years, for a 13-year period. At screening, 3,157 had no cognitive impairment, 533 had mild impairment, and 267 had moderate to severe impairment. During follow-up, 57% of patients with no impairment died, compared with 68% of those with mild impairment and 79% of those with moderate to severe impairment. Median survival time was 138 months for patients with no impairment, 106 months for those with mild impairment, and 63 months for those with moderate to severe impairment.   The researchers conclude that: “Both mild and moderate to severe cognitive impairment …  are associated with an increased risk for mortality.”

Greg A. Sachs, Ravan Carter, Laura R. Holtz, Faye Smith, Timothy E. Stump, Wanzhu Tu, et al. “Cognitive Impairment: An Independent Predictor of Excess Mortality: A Cohort Study.”  Ann Intern Med, September 6, 2011; 155:300-308.

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