Cognitive trajectories and incident dementia after a cardiovascular event in older adults

Swarna Vishwanath, Ingrid Hopper, Rory Wolfe, Galina Polekhina, Christopher M. Reid, Andrew M. Tonkin, Anne M. Murray, Raj C. Shah, Elsdon Storey, Robyn L. Woods, John McNeil, Suzanne G. Orchard, Mark R. Nelson, Claire J. Steves, Joanne Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a recognized risk factor for dementia. Here we determined the extent to which an incident CVD event modifies the trajectory of cognitive function and risk of dementia. Methods: 19,114 adults (65+) without CVD or dementia were followed prospectively over 9 years. Incident CVD (fatal coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction [MI], stroke, hospitalization for heart failure) and dementia (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria) were adjudicated by experts. Results: Nine hundred twenty-two participants had incident CVD, and 44 developed dementia after CVD (4.9% vs. 4.4% for participants without CVD). Following a CVD event there was a short-term drop in processing speed (−1.97, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −2.57 to −1.41), but there was no significant association with longer-term processing speed. In contrast, faster declines in trajectories of global function (−0.56, 95% CI: −0.76 to −0.36), episodic memory (−0.10, 95% CI: −0.16 to −0.04), and verbal fluency (−0.19, 95% CI: −0.30 to −0.01) were observed. Discussion: Findings highlight the importance of monitoring cognition after a CVD event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3670-3678
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer's & Dementia
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • cardiovascular event
  • cognitive change
  • cognitive domains
  • dementia incidence
  • older adults

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