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Poor pulmonary function implicated in dementia

11 Feb 2020

Poor pulmonary function, particularly in midlife, may contribute to an increased risk of later dementia, as suggested in the results of a meta-analysis.

Researchers searched multiple online databases for studies linking pulmonary function or respiratory illness to incident dementia using the following keywords: dementia, Alzheimer, forced expiratory volume (FEV), forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow (PEF), asthma, COPD, respiratory disease, lung disease and pneumonia, among others.

The search yielded 20 studies for inclusion in the meta-analysis: 10 studies reported pulmonary function and 11 did respiratory illness (one study reported both pulmonary function and respiratory illness).

Pooled data revealed the lowest vs highest quartile of FEV in one second (FEV1) conferred a 1.4-fold greater dementia risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.46, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.77–2.75; p=0.092; I2, 69.3 percent; n=62,209; two studies).

Furthermore, every 1-standard deviation decrease in FEV1 was associated with a 28-percent risk increase (HR, 1.28, 95 percent CI, 1.03–1.60; p=0.028; I2, 78.2 percent; n=67,505; six studies).

Respiratory illness also showed a similar magnitude of association with dementia risk (HR, 1.54, 95 percent CI, 1.30–1.81; p<0.001; I2, 92.4 percent; n=288,641; 11 studies). These associations were observed across different countries and research groups, in both men and women, and persisted despite adjustments for a range of confounding factors.

The researchers underscored a need for further investigation to establish whether or not the association between pulmonary function and cognition might reflect a cause-and-effect relation.

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Most Read Articles
Stephen Padilla, 5 days ago
Use of noninvasive ventilation (NIV), similar to invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), appears to lessen mortality but may increase the risk for transmission of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in healthcare workers, suggest the results of a study.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 08 May 2020

At present, there are no definitive treatments for COVID-19. More than 300 clinical trials are ongoing in the search for a cure. Some of the treatments being tested were previously used, with varying levels of efficacy, in the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Pank Jit Sin, 21 May 2020

Persons suffering from asthma should pay particular attention to SARS-CoV-2 precautionary measures such as social distancing, regular handwashing, and wearing of masks on top of keeping their asthma in control. This is because data collected so far paints a bleaker picture for asthmatics than the normal population should they catch COVID-19.

Pank Jit Sin, 21 May 2020
Two new studies have brought into question the widespread use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients. One is French in origin while the other is Chinese.