Chronic Disease Linked to Cognitive Decline, Study Finds


A new study has found that older adults with chronic health issues like heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder are much more likely to also have problems with memory loss. 

The researchers analyzed three years of data from an annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-assisted phone survey. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories participated. 

They found that more than 1 in 10 adults over the age of 45 reported they experienced worsening memory loss within the past 12 months. And that those who experienced cognitive decline were also significantly more likely to have at least one chronic condition. 

Those with a history of stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease were three times more likely to also self-report cognitive decline. The research suggests patients and providers should be aware of the increased risk of cognitive decline with the presence of chronic diseases — especially since memory problems can complicate care. 

The study was published this month in the journal Innovation in Aging and was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.