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Heart disease, related risk factors may increase risk of early death in patients with dementia

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Diabetes, smoking, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure may increase the risk of premature death for hospitalized individuals and nursing home residents with dementia. Men with dementia were also more likely to experience early death compared with their female counterparts.

The findings come from a recent review and meta-analysis of published studies on the effects of heart disease and related risk factors on mortality in individuals diagnosed with dementia. The review included 12 studies with 235,865 participants.

"The findings might be supportive for clinicians, individuals and caregivers concerning advance care planning. On the other hand, these findings also stress the urgent need for randomized controlled trials representing frail elderly individuals to support management in daily practice in those with dementia and cardiovascular diseases or risk factors," said Dr. Irene van de Vorst, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.

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