-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients with more
severe heart failure are at increased risk for verbal memory
impairment, a new study finds.
Verbal memory is the ability to remember words. This study
compared heart failure severity and cognitive function -- including
verbal and visual memory -- among patients being evaluated for
potential heart transplantation.
Heart failure severity was assessed using left ventricular
ejection fraction (EF), a measure of how well the heart's left
ventricle pumps with each contraction.
Among 207 patients, the researchers found that 38 had an EF of
30 percent or more, and 169 had an EF of less than 30 percent. In
patients younger than 63, there were no memory problems. But older
patients with an EF of less than 30 percent did have memory
Further analysis showed that the strongest association between
low EF and memory problems was in delayed verbal recall and
The study appears in the August issue of the
Archives of Neurology.
"In summary, an interaction exists between the age and EF such that older patients with low EF had significantly reduced memory, particularly verbal delayed recall and recognition," Joanne R. Festa, from St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City, wrote in a journal news release.
The American Heart Association has more about
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