Relationship between asthma and cognition: the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study


  • Edited by: Marek Sanak


E. Sherwood Brown, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, MC 8849, Dallas, TX 75390-8849, USA.

Tel.: 214-645-6950

Fax: 214-645-6951




Minimal data are available on the relationship between asthma and cognitive performance. In this report, we examine the relationship between asthma and cognitive performance in older adults, a subpopulation with elevated risk of cognitive impairment.


We conducted a cross-sectional, retrospective analysis of 1380 participants age ≥55 who completed preventive health examinations at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX. Cognition was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a brief test for mild cognitive impairment. Data were analyzed in a multiple logistic regression using MoCA scores suggestive of cognitive impairment as the dependent variable.


When controlling for demographic characteristics, self-rated health status, inhaled corticosteroid use, and FEV1/FVC, asthma were associated with 78% increased risk of cognitive impairment (P = 0.02) as defined by MoCA score.


In the largest sample examined to date, we have identified a significant relationship between asthma and cognitive impairment in older people.