Prevalence of, and risk factors for, cognitive impairment in lacunar stroke.

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Pallucca, Claudia 
Brown, Robin B 
Loubiere, Laurence 

BACKGROUND: Small vessel disease (SVD) is associated with vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) but why VCI occurs in some, but not other patients, is uncertain. We determined the prevalence of, and risk factors for, VCI in a large cohort of patients with lacunar stroke. METHODS: Participants with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-confirmed lacunar stroke were recruited in the multicenter DNA Lacunar 2 study and compared with healthy controls. A logistic regression model was used to determine which vascular risk factors and MRI parameters were independent predictors of VCI, assessed using the Brief Memory and Executive Test (BMET). RESULTS: A total of 912 lacunar stroke patients and 425 controls were included, with mean (SD) age of 64.6 (12.26) and 64.7 (12.29) years, respectively. VCI was detected in 38.8% lacunar patients and 13.4% controls. In a logistic regression model, diabetes mellitus (odds ratio (OR) = 1.98 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.40-2.80), p < 0.001) and higher body mass index (BMI) (OR = 1.03 (95% CI = 1.00-1.05), p = 0.029) were independently associated with increased risk of VCI, and years of full-time education with lower risk (OR = 0.92 (95% CI = 0.86-0.99), p = 0.018). When entering both lacune count and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) in the same logistic regression model, only WMH grade was significantly associated with VCI (OR = 1.46 (95% CI = 1.24-1.72), p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: VCI is common in lacunar stroke patients, affecting almost 40%. This prevalence suggests that it should be routinely screened for in clinical practice. Risk factors for VCI in patients with lacunar stroke include diabetes mellitus, depressive symptoms, higher BMI, and WMH severity, while education is protective.

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Int J Stroke
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SAGE Publications
British Heart Foundation (RG/16/4/32218)
Stroke Association (PPA 2015/02)
Medical Research Council (MR/N026896/1)
National Institute for Health Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)