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Long-term cognitive decline in bypass patients not due to surgery
Date:5/19/2008

dy comparing cognitive outcomes of bypass patients to cardiac patients who did not have surgery.

The lack of any difference in the long-term cognitive trajectories between the surgery patients and our study controls suggests that late cognitive decline 5 or more years after CABG is not specific to the use of cardiopulmonary bypass, the authors state.

As to why cognitive changes occurred in both groups, there is evidence that patients with risk factors for vascular disease (such as high blood pressure) and markers of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) have higher rates of cognitive decline over time than patients without these risk factors. The authors note that since both groups in the study had such risk factors, it is likely that the cognitive decline is related either to normal aging in the context of cardiovascular disease or to progression of the underlying vascular disease over time. More studies are needed, however, to determine if better control of these risk factors would lessen the degree of cognitive decline in patients with coronary artery disease.

The authors note that the study emphasizes the importance of including control subjects when studying long-term cognitive outcomes after surgical procedures. They conclude that the risk of late cognitive decline should not be a consideration when choosing between types of intervention for coronary artery disease.


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Contact: Sean Wagner
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Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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