Heart valve surgery linked to cognitive decline in older people


Older People

A new research found that majority of older patients who underwent heart valve surgery are at risk of cognitive problems till six months after surgery. The research was done at the University of Rochester in the US. According to the News18 report, the researchers have examined whether surgeries on two types of heart valves the mitral or the aortic were associated with better or worse outcomes.

The study has been published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society. The findings showed that people having aortic valve surgery are at greater risk of early cognitive decline within the first month after surgery than people having mitral valve surgery.

However, within the six months after surgery cognitive health in both groups appears largely to return to what it was before surgery.

According to the researchers, these findings highlight the cognitive vulnerability of this population, especially older adults with aortic stenosis, the heart valve that controls blood flow from your heart to the rest of your body.

For the study, the team included hundreds of participants who had been tested before and after surgery to determine their ability to remember, think, and make decisions.

The researchers found people experienced some cognitive decline compared to before the surgery within the first month after valve surgery. In fact, people who had mitral valve surgery experienced a mild decline. But people who had aortic valve surgery experienced poorer cognitive function the month after surgery, although they tended to improve after that.