Patients with dementia more likely to be implanted with pacemaker: Study

Published Date : Jul 29, 2014

Patients with dementia are significantly more likely to get pacemakers than those without any cognitive deficits, a recently published study states. Although the study cannot explain exactly why people with dementia are more likely to be implanted with the devices, researchers speculate that the probability of dementia patients seeking medical care more often is higher than people without cognitive impairments. Dr Nicole Fowler, the lead author, states that frequency of visits and more involvement with clinicians for therapy of any kind is greater with dementia patients and this could possibly be the reason for the findings. The report showed that people with dementia were 60% more likely to get a pacemaker than those without the impairment, taking into consideration their sex, age, location, race, blood pressure, heart health, cognitive decline and stroke risk during the course of the study.

The research was conducted at Indiana University School of Medicine and 16,245 persons were studied as part of the National Alzheimer Coordinating Centre Uniform Data Set. These patients were being treated at 33 Alzheimer’s Disease Centers between September 2005 and December 2011. It was found that after their first visit, about 46% people were found with no evidence of dementia, 21% had mild cognitive defect while 33% were diagnosed with dementia.

The study further showed that four out of every 1,000 people who did not have dementia after the first visit to the center received a pacemaker every year. About 4.7 out of 1,000 people with mild cognitive disabilities got pacemakers each year and this rose to 6.5 per 1,000 persons who had dementia.