Cognitive Impairment Predicts Fatal Incident Stroke: Findings from a National Sample of Older Adults

Authors


Address correspondence to Philippa Clarke, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. E-mail: pjclarke@umich.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of cognitive impairment on fatal and nonfatal incident stroke in older adults.

DESIGN: A large, national, prospective, population-based study of a representative cohort of older Canadians followed over a 10-year period.

SETTING: Secondary analyses were conducted using data from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging, a population-based study of older adults followed prospectively from 1991 to 2001.

PARTICIPANTS: Nine thousand four hundred fifty-one adults aged 65 and older who had not previously been diagnosed with stroke at baseline (in 1991).

MEASUREMENTS: In addition to known risk factors, the independent contribution of cognitive function (diagnosed in a clinical examination) was examined as a risk for stroke in older adults.

RESULTS: Multinomial logistic regression analyses showed that cognitive impairment was associated with twice the odds of fatal incident stroke, controlling for well-established risk factors.

CONCLUSION: This study provides further evidence for the need to consider cognitive function in relation to stroke risk in older populations.

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