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Metabolic syndrome and the risk of postoperative delirium and postoperative cognitive dysfunction: a multi-centre cohort study.

BACKGROUND: Metabolic syndrome and its components are risk factors for cognitive impairment, but their contribution to perioperative neurocognitive disorders is unknown. We examined their associations with the risk of postoperative delirium (POD) and postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) in older patients.

METHODS: In 765 male and female participants aged ≥65 years, we measured preoperative metabolic parameters and screened for POD for 7 days or until discharge. POCD was defined through comparison of cognitive change on six neuropsychological tests with non-surgical controls. Multiple logistic regression analyses examined the association of metabolic parameters with risk of POD and POCD with adjustment for age, sex, and surgery type.

RESULTS: A total of 149 patients (19.5% of 765) developed POD and 53 (10.1% of 520 attendees) had POCD at 3 months. Patients with metabolic syndrome were at 1.85-fold higher risk of POD (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-2.70). Each 1 mM higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was associated with a 0.47-fold lower POD risk (95% CI 0.30-0.74). Each 1 kg m-2 higher body mass index (BMI) was associated with a 1.09-fold higher POCD risk (95% CI 1.02- 1.16).

CONCLUSIONS: Older surgical patients with metabolic syndrome were at increased risk of POD. Only reduced HDL-C was significantly associated with POD. For POCD, a higher preoperative BMI was identified as a risk factor. These findings add to mounting evidence of a distinct epidemiology of POD and POCD. Screening programmes taking advantage of HDL-C and BMI measurements and of metabolic interventions in reducing perioperative neurocognitive disorders should be evaluated.


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