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NIH awards $2.7-million grant to Kent State to study cognitive impairment in heart failure patients
Date:5/6/2010

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a $2.7-million grant to Kent State University for a collaborative research project with Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing, Summa Health System in Akron and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland to study cognitive impairment in heart failure patients. The four-year grant from NIH's National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute runs through Jan. 31, 2014.

The goal of the study is to improve patient health and reduce medical system costs by understanding why heart failure patients have trouble managing their complex medical regimen. An important public health issue, there are five million heart failure patients in the United States with $43 billion spent in health care costs for these patients. Heart failure is also the largest category of hospital admittance among those on Medicare.

"When people have heart failure, they often have some level of cognition impairment," explained Dr. Joel Hughes, associate professor of psychology at Kent State and co-principal investigator of the grant. "By cognitive impairment, we mean that a patient's memory may not be as good as it used to be, they have more difficulty sustaining attention, or they cannot make decisions as quickly. These impairments are not as extreme as dementia or Alzheimer's, but executive functions, like those you make when driving a car, may have been adversely affected."

Little is known about how the cognitive status of heart failure patients affects management of their illness. "We know there's impairment," Hughes said. "If you have a mild cognitive impairment, we think it's harder to manage your illness, but there is no clear evidence of this."

The study, which is called "The Heart ABC Study: Adherence, Behavior and Cognition," aims to evaluate how cognitive abilities in heart failure patients relate to self-management behaviors. A mild cognitive impairment can affect a heart failure patie
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Contact: Joel Hughes
jhughes1@kent.edu
330-672-7721
Kent State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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NIH awards $2.7-million grant to Kent State to study cognitive impairment in heart failure patients
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