The manifestation of cognitive and physical impairment in stroke patients before the acute event suggests accumulating subclinical vascular pathology in the brain. We investigated whether impairments in cognitive and physical functioning were associated with an increased stroke risk. Between 2002 and 2008, 8,519 stroke-free non-demented participants from the population-based Rotterdam Study underwent cognition and physical assessments including Mini-Mental State Examination, 15-word learning test, Stroop test, letter-digit substitution test, verbal fluency test, Purdue pegboard test and questionnaires on basic and instrumental activities of daily living (BADL; IADL). Principal component analysis was used to derive global cognition (G-factor). Incident stroke was assessed through continuous monitoring of medical records until 2016. Among 8,519 persons (mean age 66.0 years; 57.8% women), 489 suffered a stroke during mean follow-up of 8.7 years (SD: 2.9). Worse G-factor was associated with higher stroke risk (Hazard Ratio 1.21, 95% CI: 1.06-1.38), largely driven by unspecified stroke. Likewise, worse scores on 15-word learning test, Stroop test, Purdue pegboard test, IADL, and BADL were associated with higher risk of stroke. Thus both worse cognitive and physical functioning were associated with a higher stroke risk, in particular unspecified stroke and persons with worse memory, information processing, executive function, and motor function.,
Scientific Reports
Department of Epidemiology

Heshmatollah, A. (A.), Mutlu, U, Koudstaal, P.J, Ikram, M.A, & Ikram, M.K. (2020). Cognitive and physical impairment and the risk of stroke - A prospective cohort study. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-63295-y