Lung Function Impairment Level in COPD Not Related to Cognitive Impairment

No association was found between the degree of lung function impairment and the development of mild cognitive impairment in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This article is part of MPR‘s coverage of the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference, taking place in San Diego, California. Our staff will report on medical research related to asthma and other respiratory conditions, conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from ATS 2018.

SAN DIEGO — Although mild cognitive impairment is common in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there was no association found between the degree of lung function impairment and the development of mild cognitive impairment, according to research presented at the annual American Thoracic Society International Conference, held May 18-23, 2018, in San Diego, California.

This observational study evaluated demographic and clinical characteristics associated with mild cognitive impairment in subjects with COPD, by collecting data on 220 participants with COPD enrolled in an American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers (ALA-ACRC) study. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment scale (MoCA) was used to assess cognitive impairment, and the cutoff score of <26 was used to define mild cognitive impairment. Participants with MoCA scores of <19 (severe cognitive impairment) were excluded. Inclusion criteria included ≥40 years old (median age, 65 years), with FEV1 <80% of normal value and FEV1/FVC ratios <0.7.

Participants underwent assessments for exercise capacity (6-minute walk test), sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), quality of life (COPD Assessment Test), severity of dyspnea (Medical Research Council scale), and anxiety (Anxiety Inventory of Respiratory Disease and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale).

Data from the linear regression analysis showed that significant predictors of MCI were: age (estimate -1.12; P<.001), black vs non-black (-2.01; P<.001), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score (-0.14; P<.001), estimates of lower income status (-1.81; P <.003), and postgraduate studies (2.91; P<.001). Associations between MoCA score and continuous FEV1, 6-minute walk test, dyspnea severity, or quality of life were not observed.

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Study investigators concluded, “There was no relationship between severity of lung function impairment and [mild cognitive impairment]. Clinicians should be aware of the high risk of [mild cognitive impairment] among patients with COPD, a fact that may affect planning effective management and monitoring strategies of these patients over time.”

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Yohannes AM, Eakin M, Holbrook JT, et al. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease related with increased risk of mild cognitive impairment. Presented at: 2018 American Thoracic Society International Conference; May 18-23, 2018; San Diego, CA. Abstract 4334.

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor