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Premature Dementia Risk May Be Up in Survivors of Heart Defects

Increased risk of dementia compared with general population, especially for early-onset dementia

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Congenital heart disease (CHD) is associated with increased risk of dementia in adults, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in Circulation.

Carina N. Bagge, from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues compared the risk of dementia in adults with CHD versus that of the general population. Medical registries and medical record review was used to identify adults with CHD diagnosed between 1963 and 2012 in Danish hospitals. Individuals with CHD were followed until hospital diagnosis of dementia, death, emigration, or Dec. 31, 2012. Ten members of the general population were identified for each CHD individual, matched by sex and birth year.

The researchers found that for the 10,632 adults with CHD, the cumulative incidence of dementia was 4 percent by age 80 years. Comparing CHD adults with the general population cohort, the overall hazard ratio was 1.6 (95 percent CI, 1.3 to 2.0). Among CHD individuals without extracardiac defects, the hazard ratio was 1.4 (95 percent CI, 1.1 to 1.8). The hazard ratio was 1.5 (95 percent CI, 1.1 to 2.0) for adults with mild-to-moderate CHD, and 2.0 (95 percent CI, 1.2 to 3.3) for severe CHD, including univentricular hearts. For early-onset dementia (<65 years of age) and late-onset dementia, the hazard ratios were 2.6 (95 percent CI, 1.8 to 3.8) and 1.3 (95 percent CI, 1.0 to 1.8), respectively.

“CHD was associated with an increased risk of dementia compared to the general population, in particular for early-onset dementia,” the authors write. “Further understanding of dementia risk in the CHD population is a potential target for future investigation.”

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