Serum cholesterol, body mass index and smoking status do not predict long-term cognitive impairment in elderly stroke patients

Michaela C. Pascoe, Chantal Ski, David, R. Thompson , Thomas Linden

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Abstract

Objectives:
Older stroke survivors are at risk of long-term cognitive impairment, which is associated with a number of modifiable and non-modifiable factors. We aimed to assess the association between the modifiable risk factors, serum cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein, serum triglycerides, body mass index (BMI) and smoking status on cognitive function, while controlling for the non-modifiable factors, acute functional impairment, diabetes status and age.

Methods:
A cross-sectional study from a metropolitan university hospital in Sweden involving older adults (n = 149). Assessments occurred at 20 months post-stroke, using the Mini Mental State Examination and serum blood levels of cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein and serum triglycerides.

Results:
Hierarchical linear regression showed that only acute functional impairment significantly contributed to long-term cognitive impairment in stroke survivors. Only 12% of the sample showed healthy cholesterol levels while the remaining patients showed borderline or high cholesterol levels. In terms of BMI, only 2% of the sample were underweight, 38% were within healthy range and 26% were overweight/obese. Only eight women and four men were smokers, therefore our sample of smokers was likely too small to detect any differences between smokers and non-smokers in regard to cognitive outcomes.

Conclusion:
Serum cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein, serum triglycerides, BMI or smoking status did not influence cognitive outcomes in older stroke surviving individuals. These findings suggest that modification of these factors may not influence cognitive outcomes in stroke-surviving individuals however should be interpreted as preliminary given limitations in the current study.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116476
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume406
Early online date14 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019

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