Is there a relationship between anaesthesia and dementia?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Long-term cognitive problems are common among elderly patients after surgery, and it has been suggested that inhalation anaesthetics play a role in the development of dementia. This study aims to investigate the hypothesis that patients with dementia have been more exposed to surgery and inhalational anaesthetics than individuals without dementia.

METHODS: Using 457 cases from a dementia-registry and 420 dementia-free controls, we performed a retrospective case-control study. The medical records were reviewed to determine exposure to anaesthesia occurring within a 20-year timeframe before the diagnosis or inclusion in the study. Data were analysed using multivariate logistic regression and propensity score analysis.

RESULTS: Advanced age (70 years and older, with the highest risk in ages 80-84 years) and previous head trauma were risk factors for dementia. History of exposure to surgery with anaesthesia was a risk factor for dementia (OR = 2.23, 95% CI 1.66-3.00, P < 0.01). Exposure to inhalational anaesthetics with halogenated anaesthetics was associated with an increased risk of dementia, compared to no exposure to anaesthesia (OR = 2.47, 95% CI 1.17-5.22, P = 0.02). Exposure to regional anaesthesia was not significantly associated with increased risk of dementia (P = 0.13).

CONCLUSION: In this 20-year retrospective case-control study, we found a potential association between dementia and prior anaesthesia. Exposure to general anaesthetics with halogenated anaesthetic gases was associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Details

Authors
  • Anna-Karin Strand
  • Fredrik Nyqvist
  • Anne Ekdahl
  • Gun Wingren
  • Christina Eintrei
Organisations
External organisations
  • Linköping University
  • Karolinska Institutet
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-447
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Volume63
Issue number4
Early online date2018 Dec 3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes