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Pearl Toh, 31 Dec 2019
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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
Pearl Toh, 31 Dec 2019
Adding the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir to usual care speeds up recovery from influenza-like illness by a day compared with usual care alone, with even greater benefits seen in older, sicker patients with comorbidities, according to the ALIC4E study.
Stephen Padilla, 4 days ago
A wearable, hermetically sealed high-precision vibration sensor enables simultaneous monitoring of multiple health factors associated with the cardiopulmonary system, including heart and respiratory rates, heart sounds, lung sounds, and body motion and position of an individual, a study shows.
Tristan Manalac, 14 Feb 2020
The use of e-cigarettes with flavoured juices for weight-related reasons appears to be common among adolescents, according to a new study.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 03 Feb 2020

The emergence of a novel coronavirus (preliminarily referred to as 2019-nCoV) has taken hold of public attention in the last month. MIMS Doctor speaks to Professor Dale Fisher, a senior consultant at the Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, Singapore, to get a better picture of the situation and steps being undertaken in Singapore to prevent spread of the virus.