Submitted: 22 Dec 2017
Revised: 16 Apr 2018
Accepted: 06 Jun 2018
First published online: 29 Jun 2018
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J Cardiovasc Thorac Res. 2018;10(2):70-75.
doi: 10.15171/jcvtr.2018.11
PMID: 30116504
PMCID: PMC6088765
  Abstract View: 449
  PDF Download: 448

Original Article

Neurocognitive impairment after acute coronary syndrome: Prevalence and characterization in a hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation program sample


Introduction: Prospective studies have shown the relation between acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and neurocognitive dysfunction with prevalence ranging between 10.51% and 66.8%. The present study aims to determine the prevalence level of neurocognitive dysfunction; the relations between sociodemographic, clinical and emotional variables and neurocognitive functioning in a sample of ACS patients.
Methods: The sample comprised of 53 patients engaged in cardiac rehabilitation within 3 months after an ACS. Patients with any medical history of neuropsychiatric problems prior to the ACS and illiterate subjects were not included in the study.
Results: The majority of the sample (85%) exhibits some degree of cognitive impairment, with 84.8% showing verbal fluency impairment, 60.3% memory impairment and only 26,4% had language compromised. Neurocognitive general functioning was correlated with age. Memory domain was negatively correlated with the number of daily smoked cigarettes before the ACS. Verbal fluency was influenced by schooling. Language domain was correlated with mean diastolic pressure and with the type of profession, visuospatial domain was correlated with schooling, number of cardiovascular risk factors, distress, anxiety levels and type of ACS.
Conclusion: Prevalence rate of neurocognitive dysfunction is considerably high. Besides global neurocognitive functioning, verbal fluency and memory are the most affected domains. Several variables were related to neurocognitive performance: sociodemographic; cardiovascular risk factors; clinical; psychological. The underlying mechanisms of neurocognitive dysfunction should be further explored.
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