COPD is associated with cognitive dysfunction and poor physical fitness in heart failure

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Abstract

Objective

To examine the associations among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cognitive function, and physical fitness in heart failure (HF).

Background

Cognitive impairment in HF in part stems from medical comorbidities and poor physical fitness. COPD, a frequent co-existing condition in HF, is a risk factor for cognitive impairment and a known cause of poor physical fitness. Yet, the interplay among COPD, cognition, and physical fitness has never been examined in HF.

Methods

191 HF patients completed a cognitive test battery and brief physical fitness assessment. Diagnostic history of COPD was ascertained via medical chart review.

Results

Regression analyses showed HF patients with COPD exhibited worse attention/executive function and poorer fitness relative to their non-COPD counterparts. Worse fitness correlated with cognitive dysfunction.

Conclusions

COPD is associated with reduced cognition and worse fitness in HF. Longitudinal work that employs objective assessments of COPD is needed to determine directionality and clarify mechanisms.

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