Precursor to Alzheimer's may be linked to early death
Scientists from the Mayo Clinic say they've found a link between cognitive impairment and death, suggesting that people who have mild problems with thinking clearly – but have an intact memory – may be more prone to early death than people who have no problems with their memory or thinking.
The study included 862 people with thinking problems and 1,292 people with no thinking problems between the ages of 70 and 89. The participants were given tests at the start of the study to assess their thinking abilities. They then took part in follow up tests every 15 months for the next six years.
Over this study period, 331 participants in the group who had mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 224 people in the group without MCI, died. Overall, the MCI group had an 80 percent higher death rate.
Researchers also found differences in the death rates between the people with amnestic and non-amnestic MCI. The people with non-amnestic MCI--their thinking skills are dimnished, but not their memories--were twice as likely to die as the people without MCI, while people with amnestic MCI--they can no longer remember important information--had a 68 percent higher death rate than the group without MCI.