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Moderate/High Risk for ESRD Tied to Worse Cognition Later in Life

Those with higher-risk episodes for ESRD as young adults had poorer cognitive performance at midlife

THURSDAY, Sept. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Adults who experience more episodes of moderate/high end-stage renal disease (ESRD) risk have worse performance in cognitive domains in middle age, according to a study published online Sept. 2 in Neurology.

Sanaz Sedaghat, Ph.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined the association between ESRD risk exposure during young adulthood and cognitive performance in midlife in 2,604 participants from the population-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. Every five years, estimated glomerular filtration rate and albumin-to-creatinine ratio were measured; at each visit, moderate/high risk for ESRD was defined. Cognitive performance was assessed at year 30, and the association of ESRD risk categories with cognitive function was examined.

The researchers found that 16 percent of the study participants had one or more episodes of ESRD risk exposure over the course of 20 years. Lower composite cognitive function, psychomotor speed, and executive function were seen for individuals with higher-risk episodes. The associations were independent of sociodemographic status and cardiovascular risk factors.

“The observed association between kidney function and cognitive impairment at such early stage in life warrants clinical attention and further investigations,” the authors write. “Our finding highlights the importance of early detection of kidney dysfunction and implementation of appropriate interventions to prevent adverse brain function in later life.”

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