Anticholinergic medication use and cognitive impairment in the older population: the medical research council cognitive function and ageing study.

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 3.98). 06/2011; 59(8):1477-83. DOI:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03491.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine whether the use of medications with possible and definite anticholinergic activity increases the risk of cognitive impairment and mortality in older people and whether risk is cumulative.
A 2-year longitudinal study of participants enrolled in the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study between 1991 and 1993.
Community-dwelling and institutionalized participants.
Thirteen thousand four participants aged 65 and older.
Baseline use of possible or definite anticholinergics determined according to the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale and cognition determined using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). The main outcome measure was decline in the MMSE score at 2 years.
At baseline, 47% of the population used a medication with possible anticholinergic properties, and 4% used a drug with definite anticholinergic properties. After adjusting for age, sex, educational level, social class, number of nonanticholinergic medications, number of comorbid health conditions, and cognitive performance at baseline, use of medication with definite anticholinergic effects was associated with a 0.33-point greater decline in MMSE score (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.03-0.64, P=.03) than not taking anticholinergics, whereas the use of possible anticholinergics at baseline was not associated with further decline (0.02, 95% CI=-0.14-0.11, P=.79). Two-year mortality was greater for those taking definite (OR=1.68; 95% CI=1.30-2.16; P<.001) and possible (OR=1.56; 95% CI=1.36-1.79; P<.001) anticholinergics.
The use of medications with anticholinergic activity increases the cumulative risk of cognitive impairment and mortality.

0 0
1 Bookmark
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of prescription drugs in older people is high and many commonly prescribed drugs have anticholinergic effects. We examined the relationship between anticholinergic burden on mortality and in-patient length of stay in the oldest old hospitalised population. This was a retrospective analysis of prospective audit using hospital audit data from acute medical admissions in three hospitals in England and Scotland. Baseline use of possible or definite anticholinergics was determined according to the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale. The main outcome measures were decline in-hospital mortality, early in-hospital mortality at 3- and 7-days and in-patient length of stay. A total of 419 patients (including 65 patients with known dementia) were included (median age = 92.9, IQR 91.4-95.1 years). 256 (61.1%) were taking anticholinergic medications. Younger age, greater number of pre-morbid conditions, ischaemic heart disease, number of medications, higher urea and creatinine levels were significantly associated with higher total ACB burden on univariate regression analysis. There were no significant differences observed in terms of in-patient mortality, in-patient hospital mortality within 3- and 7-days and likelihood of prolonged length of hospital stay between ACB categories. Compared to those without cardiovascular disease, patients with cardiovascular disease showed similar outcome regardless of ACB load (either =0 or >0 ACB). We found no association between anticholinergic burden and early (within 3- and 7-days) and in-patient mortality and hospital length of stay outcomes in this cohort of oldest old in the acute medical admission setting.
    Archives of gerontology and geriatrics 01/2014; · 1.36 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of potentially inappropriate medications in older adults can lead to known adverse drug events, but long-term effects are less clear. We therefore conducted a prospective cohort study of older women to determine whether PIM use is associated with risk of functional impairment or low cognitive performance. We followed up 1,429 community-dwelling women (≥75 years) for a period of 5 years at four clinical sites in the United States. The primary predictor at baseline was PIM use based on 2003 Beers Criteria. We also assessed anticholinergic load using the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden scale. Outcomes included scores on a battery of six cognitive tests at follow-up and having one or more incident impairments in instrumental activities of daily living. Regression models were adjusted for baseline age, race, education, smoking, physical activity, a modified Charlson Comorbidity Index, and cognitive score. The mean ± SD age of women at baseline was 83.2 ± 3.3. In multivariate models, baseline PIM use and higher ACB scores were significantly associated with poorer performance in category fluency (PIM: p = .01; ACB: p = .02) and immediate (PIM: p = .04; ACB: p = .03) and delayed recall (PIM: p = .04). Both PIM use (odds ratio [OR]: 1.36 [1.05-1.75]) and higher ACB scores (OR: 1.11 [1.04-1.19]) were also strongly associated with incident functional impairment. The results provide suggestive evidence that PIM use and increased anticholinergic load may be associated with risk of functional impairment and low cognitive performance. More cautious selection of medications in older adults may reduce these potential risks.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 11/2013; · 4.31 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To compare the effect of using different anticholinergic drug scales and different models of cognitive decline in longitudinal studies. Longitudinal cohort study. Outpatient clinics, Quebec, Canada. Individuals aged 60 and older without dementia or depression (n = 102). Using baseline and 1-year follow-up data, four measures of anticholinergic burden (anticholinergic component of the Drug Burden Index (DBI-Ach), Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB), Anticholinergic Drug Scale (ADS), and Anticholinergic Risk Scale (ARS)) were applied. Three models of cognitive decline (worsening of raw neuropsychological test scores, Reliable Change Index (RCI), and a standardized regression based measure (SRB)) were compared in relation to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) criteria for the onset of a new mild neurocognitive disorder. The consistency of associations was examined using logistic regression. The frequency of identifying individuals with an increase in anticholinergic burden over 1 year varied from 18% with the DBI-Ach to 23% with the ACB. The frequency of identifying cognitive decline ranged from 8% to 86% using different models. The raw change score had the highest sensitivity (0.91), and the RCI the highest specificity (0.93) against DSM-V criteria. Memory decline using the SRB method was associated with an increase in ACB (odds ratio (OR) = 5.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-25.8), ADS (OR = 5.7, 95% CI = 1.1-27.7), and ARS (OR = 6.5, 95% CI = 1.34-32.3). An increase in the DBI-Ach was associated with a decline on memory testing using the raw change score method (OR = 4.2, 95% CI = 1.8-15.4) and on the Trail-Making Test Part B using SRB (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.1-8.0). No associations were observed using the DSM-V criteria or RCI method. The choice of different methods for defining drug exposure and cognitive decline will have a significant effect on the results of pharmacoepidemiological studies.
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 01/2014; · 3.98 Impact Factor