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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 348054, 8 pages
Research Article

The Additive Effects of Type-2 Diabetes on Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Heart Failure

1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, Summa Health System, Akron City Hospital, Akron, OH 44307, USA
3Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA
4Department of Cardiology, Rhode Island Medical Center, Providence, RI 02903, USA
5Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI 02903, USA
6Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA
7Department of Medicine, Case Medical Center, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
8Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
9School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

Received 15 January 2012; Accepted 8 April 2012

Academic Editor: Jill Gelow

Copyright © 2012 Michael L. Alosco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Medical comorbidity has been theorized to contribute to cognitive impairment in heart failure (HF) patients. Specifically, type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), a common coexisting condition among HF patients, may be an independent predictor of cognitive impairment. Nonetheless, the relationships between T2DM and other risk factors for cognitive impairment among persons with HF are unclear. Methods. Persons with HF ( , 34.3% women, age years) completed neuropsychological testing within a framework of an ongoing study. History of T2DM, along with other medical characteristics, was ascertained through a review of participants’ medical charts and self-report. Results. Many participants (34.9%) had a comorbid T2DM diagnosis. After adjustment for demographic and medical characteristics, HF patients with T2DM evidenced significantly greater impairments across multiple cognitive domains than HF patients without T2DM: , , . Post hoc tests revealed significant associations between T2DM and attention ( ), executive function ( ), and motor functioning ( ). Conclusion. The findings suggest additive contributions of T2DM and HF to impairments in attention, executive function, and motor function. Future work is needed to elucidate the mechanisms by which T2DM exacerbates cognitive impairment in HF.