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Cognitive issues increase risk for elderly with heart failure

Cognitive issues increase risk for elderly with heart failure

OHMYGOSSIP — Elderly patients with cognitive impairments and heart failure issues face a tougher prognosis than those without such impairments, at least partially because they are worse at adhering to medications.

In a study that included 136 patients admitted to the hospital over age 65, researchers found that those with a cognitive impairment were 7.5 times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital or die as a result of their heart issue.

The patients in the study were an average of 82 years old, with 74 percent of them having cognitive impairments. Of those, 24 percent were later readmitted due to heart failure or died.

“We expect that heart failure patients with cognitive impairment tend to get progressively worse at adhering to medications,” said Hiroshi Saito, a physiotherapist at Kameda Medical Centre in Kamogawa, Japan, in a press release. “It is possible that this could explain why they have a worse prognosis. Cardiologists and other medical staff should assess the cognitive status of elderly heart failure patients.”

Even after allowing for variables such as age, body mass index, and other prognosis factors, researchers found that patients still were at much greater risk because of cognitive impairments.

Saito said that while there are no specific patients for cognitive ailments for patients with heart failure, doctors, caretakers and families need to be aware of treatment that includes exercise, diet and taking medication.

The research was presented at Heart Failure 2015.

Featured image: PantherMedia/Lev Dolgachov/Scanpix

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