Cognitive Impairment May Increase Stroke Risk

HealthDay News — Cognitive impairment is associated with an increased risk of subsequent stroke, according to a meta-analysis published online in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Meng Lee, MD, from the Chang Gung University College of Medicine in Chiayi, Taiwan, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to examine the correlation between cognitive impairment and the risk of future stroke. Eighteen cohort studies were identified, which included a total of 121,879 participants and 7,799 stroke events.

The researchers found that the risk of stroke was increased among patients with cognitive impairment at baseline (relative risk [RR], 1.39), based on pooled analysis of results from all studies.

When limiting analysis to studies using the Mini-Mental State Examination to define cognitive impairment, results were similar (RR, 1.64). There was also an increased risk of fatal stroke (RR, 1.68) and ischemic stroke (RR, 1.65) among those with cognitive impairment at baseline.

“Baseline cognitive impairment was associated with a significantly higher risk of future stroke, especially ischemic and fatal stroke,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Lee M, et al. CMAJ 2014. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.140147

Disclosures: One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.