To evaluate the factor 'operation under general anesthesia' as a possible risk factor for age-related cognitive decline.DESIGN:
A retrospective, population-based, cross-sectional study.SETTING:
Maastricht Aging Study (MAAS), Maastricht, The Netherlands.PARTICIPANTS:
1257 normal healthy subjects aged 24 to 86 years. Of the 1257 healthy subjects, 946 subjects appeared to have undergone at least one operation under general anesthesia.MEASUREMENTS:
The history of an operation under general anesthesia, number of operations, duration of anesthesia, cognitive performance, subjective health, and subjective memory were measured.RESULTS:
A history of an operation under general anesthesia, the number of operations, and the total duration of anesthesia significantly contributed to the number of subjective health-related complaints but did not predict cognitive performance or memory complaints. Subjects with a history of an operation under general anesthesia felt less healthy than subjects who had never undergone an operation under general anesthesia. No interactions with age were found.CONCLUSION:
The present study found no support for the notion that a history of an operation under general anesthesia is a determinant or risk factor for accelerated age-related cognitive decline.