Heart attack survivors may be at greater risk of mental decl
A heart attack’s impact on the brain may be more serious than previously understood. About 1 in 3 heart attack survivors showed significant mental decline in the days and months following their heart attack.

A study assessed the mental functioning of 220 patients hospitalized for a heart attack in Pozna, Poland. Patients underwent two cognitive assessments a few days after their heart attack, and then, repeated the tests six months later. The two tests were the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Clock Drawing Test, which assess a person’s thinking, memory and ability to perform basic tasks and are commonly used to identify signs of dementia.

The tests overall showed roughly 50% of patients had normal cognitive functioning at both time points, while the other half had some cognitive impairment. About 35-40% of patients showed cognitive impairment in the first days after their heart attack, while 27-33% showed impairment six months later. Of the patients who had some cognitive impairment shortly after their heart attack, the impairment was temporary in about half of cases and permanent for the other half. About 1 in 9 patients had normal cognitive functioning shortly after their heart attack but showed cognitive decline six months later.

Cognitive deficits can impact a person’s quality of life and make it more challenging to keep up with treatments and lifestyle changes intended to help prevent a second heart attack. Also cognitive deficits, such as memory loss or not being able to recognize a loved one, can be even more important for our patients than their cardiovascular disease.

Source: https://www.dicardiology.com/content/heart-attack-survivors-may-be-greater-risk-mental-decline