HealthDay News — Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk for mild cognitive impairment, particularly nonamnestic forms, according to a study in JAMA Neurology.

Balwinder Singh, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues randomly selected 1,425 cognitively normal individuals aged 70 to 89 years from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging in October 2004.

Participants underwent a nurse interview, neurologic examination and neuropsychological testing at baseline and every 15 months. Medical records were used to confirm COPD diagnosis.

Continue Reading

During a median follow-up of 5.1 years, 370 developed incident mild cognitive impairment. There was a significantly increased risk for nonamnestic mild cognitive impairment (hazard ratio [HR], 1.83; 95% CI: 1.04-3.23) with a COPD diagnosis, but not for mild cognitive impairment or amnestic mild cognitive impairment in multivariate analyses.

There was a dose-response relationship with a COPD duration of longer than five years at baseline associated with the greatest risk for any form of mild cognitive impairment (HR, 1.58; 95% CI: 1.04-2.40). This relationship was stronger for nonamnestic forms of mild cognitive impairment (HR, 2.58; 95% CI: 1.32-5.06), the researchers found.

“These findings highlight the importance of COPD as a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment and may provide a substrate for early intervention to prevent or delay the onset and progression of [the disease], particularly [nonamnestic forms],” the researchers wrote.


  1. Balwinder S et al. JAMA Neurol. 2014; doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.94.

Disclosure: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.