Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Mini-Mental Status Examination Compared as Cognitive Screening Tools in Heart Failure

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Heart Failure, Cognitive dysfunction, Cognitive screening, The MoCA


Background Heart failure (HF) patients run four times the risk of developing cognitive impairment than does the general population, yet cognitive screening is not routinely performed.

Methods This cross-sectional study enrolled 90 community-dwelling adults with HF aged 50 years and above. Participants took the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), to measure cognitive function in persons with HF. Participants were predominately men (66%) and Caucasian (78%), aged 50-89 years (62 SD, 9 years), and 77% had an ejection fraction <40%.

Results Fifty-four percent of participants scored ≤26 on the MoCA, suggesting mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 17% scored ≤22, suggesting moderate cognitive impairment, compared with 2.2% on the MMSE. The MoCA scores were lowest for visuospatial/executive domain, short-term memory, and delayed recall. These findings were similar to those in published reports.

Conclusion These preliminary findings support the use of MoCA for cognitive screening in stable HF.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Heart & Lung, v. 40, issue 6, p. 521-529

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