Patients Preparing for Hip Joint Replacement Display More Cognitive Impairment

Elderly patients about to undergo hip joint replacement displayed higher rates of preoperative Mild Cognitive Impairment than those not scheduled for surgery, according to a study published in the June 2011 issue of Anesthesiology.

The study evaluated 152 patients over the age of 60 with neuropsychological testing one week before surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Test results were compared with published norms and revealed that patients about to undergo hip joint replacement performed worse compared to normative data on five of seven neuropsychological tests.

Mild Cognitive Impairment was also more prevalent than expected. The researchers concluded that further research is needed to compare the changes in cognition after anesthesia and surgery with the changes in cognition in population studies.

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