Congenital heart disease ups risk of dementia
Persons with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at a higher risk of dementia, particularly early-onset dementia, than the general population, a recent study has shown.
Researchers accessed the medical records of 10,632 adults with CHD (46 percent male) and compared each patient with 10 age- and sex-matched controls from the general population. The cumulative incidence of dementia by 80 years of age in both cohorts was 4 percent (n=1,072).
Analysis by cohort showed that there were 95 and 977 cases of dementia in the CHD and control groups, respectively. This translated to a significantly higher risk of all-cause dementia in those with CHD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.61; 95 percent CI, 1.29–2.02).
The trend remained significant even when analysed according to different types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease (22 vs 246 cases; HR, 1.35; 0.86–2.15), vascular dementia (11 vs 107 cases; HR, 1.62; 0.84–3.11) and other dementias (62 vs 624 cases; HR, 1.73; 1.30–2.30).
Analysis by patient subgroup likewise did not significantly alter the results. Risk elevation was similar for male (HR, 1.55; 1.06–2.26) and female (HR, 1.65; 1.25–2.19) CHD patients.
The risk seemed to increase with CHD severity. Those with mild-to-moderate CHD (HR, 1.50; 1.14–1.97) had lower risks of dementia relative to those with severe and univentricular CHD (HR, 1.96; 1.15–3.34). The risk for those with unclassified CHD severity was also elevated (HR, 1.85; 1.01–3.40).
Subsequent sensitivity analyses, such as exclusion of all individuals with mild cognitive impairments and amnestic syndromes, did not significantly change the results.