Increased risk of stroke reported for individuals with cognitive impairment

Individuals with cognitive impairment are significantly more likely than those with normal cognitive function to have a stroke, according to a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MSc, and colleagues found a 39% increased risk of stroke for people with cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment and stroke are major contributors to disability and stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide.

 “Given the projected substantial rise in the number of older people around the world, prevalence rates of cognitive impairment and stroke are expected to soar over the next several decades, especially in high income countries,” Ovbiagele and co-authors wrote.

The study analyzed data from 18 studies of 121,879 people with cognitive impairment. Overall, 7,799 of those people had strokes.

“Cognitive impairment should be more broadly recognized as a possible early clinical manifestation of cerebral infarction, so that timely management of vascular risk factors can be instituted to potentially prevent future stroke events and to avoid further deterioration of cognitive health,” the authors wrote.


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