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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 263-268

Post-operative cognitive dysfunction in the elderly: A prospective clinical study

1 Department of Anaesthesiology, JSS Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nalini Kotekar
Department of Anaesthesiology, JSS Medical College, Mysore - 570 004, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.135034

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Background and Aims: Aging population is a major demographic trend worldwide. Globally, 50% of all the elderly individuals are estimated to undergo atleast one surgical procedure and post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is one of the most common and often poorly understood post-operative complications in this section of the population. This randomised prospective study was conducted to assess the post-operative cognitive status in the elderly undergoing non-cardiac surgery, evaluate the cognitive parameters affected, evaluate the potential risk factors and thereby analyse the potential for implementation of preventive strategies. Methods: This study was conducted on 200 patients aged 60 years or older scheduled for elective non-cardiac surgeries. The baseline cognitive status of the patients was assessed 2 days prior to the date of the surgery. The post-operative cognitive status was assessed on the 3 rd day, 7 th day and after 1 month. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS and SPSS. Results: The incidence of POCD showed a gradual decline from postoperative day 3 to 30. Females were found to be at significant risk in developing POCD. Advancing age and level of education emerged as dominant factors, while type of anaesthesia, duration of surgery, and presence of coexisting comorbidities had no influence on the incidence of cognitive dysfunction. Conclusion: POCD is a definite complication after surgery and anaesthesia in the elderly population. Gender emerged as a significant risk factor with increasing age as a dominating factor contributing to POCD.

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