Lung Disease In Middle Age Increases The Risk Of Dementia

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Lung Disease In Middle Age Increases The Risk Of Dementia
Lung Disease In Middle Age Increases The Risk Of Dementia

Video: Lung Disease In Middle Age Increases The Risk Of Dementia

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Video: Dr James Dodd: Cognitive Function & Brain Pathology in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 2023, February
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Lung disease in middle age increases the risk of dementia

Both restrictive lung diseases (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis) and obstructive lung diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - COPD) have been linked to dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment.

Lung disease in middle age increases the risk of dementia
Lung disease in middle age increases the risk of dementia

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Middle-aged adults with lung disease are at higher risk of developing dementia or cognitive impairment in the future, according to researchers in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine of the American Thoracic Society.

“Preventing dementia is a public health priority, and previous research has shown that poor lung health, which is often preventable, may be associated with a greater risk of developing dementia. In this study, we examined the long-term association between poor lung function and the risk of dementia using high-quality measurements,”said Dr. Pamela L. Lutsey, lead study author and epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health. School of Public Health).

The Community Atherosclerosis Risk Study analyzed data from more than 14,000 participants with an average age of 54 years. Spirometry was performed (one of the main diagnostic methods for assessing the functional state of the lungs) and questions were asked about the state of lung health. The group was followed for 23 years, assessed for dementia or cognitive impairment. During this time, 1407 cases of dementia were recorded as a result of assessment or analysis of hospital diagnostic codes.

Both restrictive lung diseases (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis) and obstructive lung diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - COPD) have been linked to dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment.

The likelihood of dementia or mild cognitive impairment (compared to those without lung disease) is higher:

by 58% in restrictive lung diseases.

  • by 33% in obstructive pulmonary diseases.

The study also showed that dementia was associated with low scores on two spirometric tests - forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1 - the amount of air a person can forcefully exhale in one second) and forced vital capacity (FVC - a measure of lung size).

According to scientists, a possible explanation is low blood oxygen levels due to lung disease. This, in turn, can lead to inflammation, stress, and damage to the blood vessels in the brain.

However, the study has several limitations. First, the participants' lung function was only assessed at the start of the study, and second, many patients died before being evaluated for dementia or cognitive impairment. Third, the study was not randomized and controlled, so it cannot provide evidence of a causal relationship between lung disease and dementia or mild cognitive impairment.

“Preventing lung disease is inherently important. If other studies support the findings of our study, individuals and policymakers will have an additional incentive to make changes that protect lung health, as this can also prevent dementia,”concluded Pamela L. Lutsi.

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