Cognitive Ability Decreases in Elderly with Low Ejection Fraction

A substantial link can be found in elderly patients suffering from heart failure between memory function and left ventricular ejection fraction.

According to a recent study, a substantial link can be found in elderly patients suffering from heart failure between memory function and left ventricular ejection fraction (EF).

The researchers involved in this study reported that the most affected functions of an EF of less than 30% were verbal delayed recall and recognition.

Lead researcher Joanne R. Festa, Ph.D., from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, studied the relationship between age, EF, and memory loss by focusing on 207 patients suffering from heart failure.

The researchers used transthoracic echocardiography in order to examine left ventricular EF, and a neuropsychological assessment was performed so the researchers could calculate the participant’s memory composite score (MCS).

Festa and her team sorted the participants into groups according to age, where they compared memory functionality between participants who had an EF below 30% and participants who had an EF of 30% or higher.

The researchers found a strong connection between demographic, cognitive, and medical variables, as well as MCS in univariate regression analysis. There was also a considerable link between age and EF which was identified in a multivariate regression analysis, adjusting for significant covariates.

In participants younger than sixty-three years old, memory function remained steady, but memory function declined drastically in participants over sixty-three years old when their EF decreased to a figure below 30%.

"The effect of EF on memory differs by age such that older patients with lower EF have significantly reduced verbal memory function," the authors reported.

This study was published in the August issue of the Archives of Neurology.