Long-Term Cognitive Decline After Newly Diagnosed Heart Failure: Longitudinal Analysis in the CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study)

Christa A. Hammond, Natalie J. Blades, Sarwat I. Chaudhry, John A. Dodson, W. T. Longstreth, Susan R. Heckbert, Bruce M. Psaty, Alice M. Arnold, Sascha Dublin, Colleen M. Sitlani, Julius M. Gardin, Stephen M. Thielke, Michael G. Nanna, Rebecca F. Gottesman, Anne B. Newman, Evan L. Thacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) is associated with cognitive impairment. However, we know little about the time course of cognitive change after HF diagnosis, the importance of comorbid atrial fibrillation, or the role of ejection fraction. We sought to determine the associations of incident HF with rates of cognitive decline and whether these differed by atrial fibrillation status or reduced versus preserved ejection fraction. METHODS AND RESULTS: Participants were 4864 men and women aged ≥65 years without a history of HF and free of clinical stroke in the CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study)-a community-based prospective cohort study in the United States, with cognition assessed annually from 1989/1990 through 1998/1999. We identified 496 participants with incident HF by review of hospital discharge summaries and Medicare claims data, with adjudication according to standard criteria. Global cognitive ability was measured by the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination. In adjusted models, 5-year decline in model-predicted mean Modified Mini-Mental State Examination score was 10.2 points (95% confidence interval, 8.6-11.8) after incident HF diagnosed at 80 years of age, compared with a mean 5-year decline of 5.8 points (95% confidence interval, 5.3-6.2) from 80 to 85 years of age without HF. The association was stronger at older ages than at younger ages, did not vary significantly in the presence versus absence of atrial fibrillation (P=0.084), and did not vary significantly by reduced versus preserved ejection fraction (P=0.734). CONCLUSIONS: Decline in global cognitive ability tends to be faster after HF diagnosis than without HF. Clinical and public health implications of this finding warrant further attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e004476
JournalCirculation. Heart failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • aged
  • atrial fibrillation
  • cognition
  • cohort studies
  • heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-Term Cognitive Decline After Newly Diagnosed Heart Failure: Longitudinal Analysis in the CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this