Delirium associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline

People who experience delirium may be more likely to develop long-term cognitive decline, according to a study by Columbia University.

In their findings, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, researchers initiated a systematic review of 24 observational studies to identify whether delirium heightened the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia.

“Delirium is associated with a variety of complications, ranging from patient and family stress, increased hospital costs, increased duration of hospital stay, escalation of care, and increased mortality and morbidity including institutionalization,” said Terry Golberg, the study’s lead author.

“In our study, we discovered it had longer term effects as well.”

According to researchers, one episode of delirium was associated with a more than double risk of long-term cognitive impairment, compared to patients with no history of delirium.

With delirium occurring prevalently among older adults hospitalized, and recently in cases of SARS-CoV-2, it is imperative that the evidence from these findings be used for future research to get a better comprehension of the risks between cognitive decline and delirium.

Image courtesy of APA
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