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Vol 11, No 1 (2005)
Research paper
Published online: 2005-01-14

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Influence of metabolic risk factors of cardiovascular diseases on cognitive impairment in elderly patients

Wiesława Kwiatkowska, Joanna Szczepańska, Marek Woźniewski, Grażyna Greń
Acta Angiologica 2005;11(1):37-49.


Background. Cognitive impairment in older people diminishes their quality of life and interferes with their state of health.
The aim of the study is the assessment of cognitive functions in elderly people, the evaluation of the correlation between cognitive impairment and metabolic risk factors of cardiovascular diseases.
Material and methods. 93 patients over 60 years old completed the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), as a consequence, the following the groups were established: Group 1 — control group without cognitive impairment, group 2 — presence of cognitive impairment: 2a — mild impairment, 2b — moderate or severe dementia. The interdependence of the MMSE score and serum concentration of fractionated lipids was evaluated, and it was examined whether cognitive impairment was connected with diabetes type 2, carotid arteries stenosis or with the coexistence of the first two and finally with the metabolic syndrome.
Results. The following results were obtained: a positive correlation between MMSE score and HDL-C concentration, negative correlation between MMSE score and LDL/HDL index, no correlation between MMSE score and TC, LDL-C and TG concentration. In patients of group 2, the HDL-C concentration was significantly lower, the TG concentration higher, and the LDL/HDL index was higher than in group 1, these tendencies increased when both groups, 1 and 2b were compared. In patients with diabetes or with carotid stenosis, the MMSE score was low, the results decreased in patients with the coexistence of both. Patients with metabolic syndrome revealed significantly lower MMSE scores compared to patients without the syndrome (p < 0.0004).
Conclusion. Low HDL-C concentration, high value of LDL/HDL coefficient and high TG concentration are connected with cognitive impairment in elderly people. HDL-C concentrations correlate positively, and values of LDL/HDL coefficients correlate negatively, with the degree of cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive impairment is connected with diabetes type 2 and carotid stenosis, and it intensifies in patients suffering from both. Metabolic syndrome gives a very high risk of cognitive impairment.

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