Cognitive Symptom Score From Electronic Health Record Predicts Risk for Dementia

Patient discharge form and stethoscope
Doctor’s working table with pen for writing on patient’s discharge blank paper form, medical prescription, stethoscope on desk.
Resesarchers examined the correlation of cognitive symptoms, with incident dementia diagnosis using the EHR from two large academic medical centers.

HealthDay News — A cognitive symptom measure identified in discharge summaries can predict the risk for dementia, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Thomas H. McCoy, Jr., M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation of cognitive symptoms, identified using a validated natural language processing tool, with incident dementia diagnosis during eight years of follow-up using electronic health records from two large academic medical centers.

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The researchers found that 2.4 percent of the 267,855 hospitalized patients with 1,251,858 patient years of follow-up data received a new diagnosis of dementia. An increasing cognitive symptom score correlated with earlier dementia diagnosis in competing risk regression (hazard ratio, 1.63). In the second hospital system and in a subgroup analysis of younger and older patients, similar results were observed.

“Before formal diagnosis of dementia, symptoms documented in discharge summaries may facilitate identification of high-risk individuals in whom further evaluation or application of biomarkers may have greatest yield,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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