Sleep-Disordered Breathing, Hypoxia: the Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 4, November 2011].

Summary

This research investigated the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing, characterised by recurrent arousal from sleep and intermittent hypoxemia, and poor cognition and cognitive impairment in older adults. This study involved 298 women initially without dementia, and sleep-disordered breathing was defined as their having an apnea-hypopnea index of 15 or more events per hour of sleep. Results concerning the association between sleep-disordered breathing and the risks of mild cognitive impairment or dementia were adjusted for age, race, body mass index, education level, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, medications used and baseline cognitive scores.

Compared with 193 women without sleep-disordered breathing, the 105 women with sleep-disordered breathing were more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia.  A high proportion of sleep time spent in apnea or hypopnea and having raised oxygen desaturation (both measures of disordered breathing) were associated with higher risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Sleep fragmentation and sleep duration alone were not associated with risk of developing cognitive impairment.

The researchers concluded that persons (older women, in this study) with sleep-disordered breathing have an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment. This relationship appears to be related primarily to measures of hypoxia.

Full Text Link (Access requires an Athens password or journal subscription).

Reference

Yaffe, K. Laffan, AM. [and] Harrison, SL. [et al] (2011). Sleep-disordered breathing, hypoxia, and risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia in older women. JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association, August 10th 2011, Vol.306(6), pp.613-9. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Note: There is an associated commentary article in the same issue of JAMA:

Full Text Link (Access requires an Athens password or journal subscription).

Reference

Canessa, N. Ferini-Strambi, L. (2011). Sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive decline in older adults. JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association, August 10th 2011, Vol.306(6), pp.654-5. (Click here to view the PubMed record).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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