HealthDay News — Significantly faster declines in global cognition, memory, and executive function are seen following incident myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 9 to 11 in New Orleans.

Michelle C. Johansen, M.D., Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the associations between incident MI and acute and long-term changes in cognitive function in a pooled analysis of 31,377 participants, aged 18 years or older, from six longitudinal cohort studies, with a median follow-up of 6.4 years.

The researchers found that 1,047 of the participants had incident MI. There was an association seen for MI with significant acute decline in global cognition and executive function after the MI event, but not in memory. The effect estimates indicating acute declines in global cognition and executive function were not significant after including change in cognitive function after incident MI in the model. However, significantly faster declines in global cognition (−0.15 points/year faster), memory (−0.13 points/year faster), and executive function (−0.14 points/year faster) were seen for participants with incident MI versus those without MI.


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“It’s important to know that cognitive decline is a possibility after a heart attack, so physicians are both managing patients’ heart disease and looking for signs of dementia following a heart attack,” Johansen said in a statement. “It can even be a great conversation-starter about why it’s important for patients to follow medical advice to prevent a heart attack.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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