According to a new study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), people with cognitive impairment are significantly more likely to have a stroke with a 39% increased risk. The study, which was conducted by researchers in the United States, South Korea, and Taiwan, analyzed data from 18 studies of 121,879 persons with cognitive impairment, of whom a total of 7,799 had later had strokes. Most of the studies included were conducted in North America or Europe.

The researchers observed a notably higher rate of stroke in individuals with cognitive impairment than in those with normal cognitive function. The authors wrote, “We found that the risk of future stroke was 39% higher among patients with cognitive impairment at baseline than among those with normal cognitive function at baseline. This risk increased to 64% when a broadly adopted definition of cognitive impairment was used.”

Along with the study’s co-authors, Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, says, “Given the projected substantial rise in the number of older people around the world, prevalence rates of cognitive impairment and stroke are expected to soar over the next several decades, especially in high-income countries.”

The authors of the study write, “Cognitive impairment should be more broadly recognized as a possible early clinical manifestation of cerebral infarction, so that timely management of vascular risk factors can be instituted to potentially prevent future stroke events and to avoid further deterioration of cognitive health.”

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal