Yuvaraj Krishnamoorthy, Gokul Sarveswaran, Manikandanesan Sakthivel, Tanveer Rehman, Marie Gilbert Majella, S Ganesh Kumar
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
Background: Cognitive impairment among noncommunicable disease (NCD) patients causes significant burden to the patients and families by increasing the dependency level and risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future. Hence, the current study was done to screen for mild cognitive impairment among NCD patients attending rural primary health center in Puducherry. Materials and Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional study was done among 260 NCD patients attending rural health center of tertiary care center in Puducherry from February to March 2018. Information regarding sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics was done using semi-structured questionnaire, and cognitive function was screened using mini-mental status examination tool. Results: Among the 260 participants, majority were females (66.2%) and belonged to elderly age group (42.7%). About 44% of the participants did not have any formal education and almost three-fourths (70%) were unemployed. The most common NCD was hypertension (71.2%), followed by diabetes (56.2%) and bronchial asthma (15%). Proportion of cognitive impairment was 10.8% (95% confidence interval: 7.4–15.0). Cognitive impairment was three times more prevalent among elderly participants (prevalence ratio [PR] – 3.35, P = 0.002) when compared to the age group of <60 years. Similarly, the proportion of participants with cognitive impairment was twice among uneducated (PR – 2.34, P = 0.02) compared to the literate participants. Conclusion: The current study found that one in ten NCD patients has mild cognitive impairment. The elderly and illiterates were found to have more risk of cognitive dysfunction. Hence, opportunistic screening for cognitive dysfunction needs to be done at the primary health-care level.
Keywords: Cognition, mental health, noncommunicable diseases.