One-year prospective study on the presence of chronic diseases and subsequent cognitive decline in older adults

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Abstract

Background

The literature is inconsistent regarding the effect of the presence of chronic physical and mental diseases on cognitive decline in older adults. The objectives of this study were to explore the effect of chronic diseases on subsequent cognitive decline assessed via the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) in community living older adults.

Methods

We used data from individuals (n = 2010) participating in the ESA (Étude sur la Santé des Aînés) study. Cognitive status was measured with the MMSE at baseline and after 1 year. Chronic diseases were identified via administrative databases in accordance with International Classification of Diseases 9/10. Multivariate linear regression was used to assess the change in MMSE as a function of chronic physical and mental disorders, while adjusting for socio-demographic and clinical factors

Results

Significant decreases in MMSE scores were found in patients who had a stroke (β value: -2.83) or diabetes (β value: -1.06) and in older adults aged older than 75 years (β value: −0.91).

Conclusions

When adjusting for other chronic diseases, stroke, diabetes and advanced age were associated with subsequent cognitive decline in older adults during a one-year follow-up. Longer follow-up is recommended to assess long-term effect.

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