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Serum sodium in relation to various domains of cognitive function in the elderly US population

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Issue Date
2021-05-24
Publisher
BMC
Citation
BMC Geriatrics. 2021 May 24;21(1):328
Keywords
Serum sodiumHyponatremiaCognitive functionElderly
Abstract
Background
Recent evidence suggests that sodium imbalances may be associated with cognitive impairment; however, the association between specific domains of cognition remains unclear. This study examines the association between serum sodium levels and immediate and delayed verbal memory as measured by the CERAD Word Learning Test (CERAD WLT), executive function as measured by the Animal Fluency test (AFT), and sustained attention, working memory, and processing speed as measured by the Digit Symbol Substitution test (DSST) in the elderly population of the US aged 60 and older who participated in the 2011–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (n = 2,541).

Methods
Cognitive function tests were performed by trained interviewers and sodium levels were measured using indirect ion selective electrode methodology.

Results
After adjusting for all covariates, quintiles of CERAD WLT scores showed significant positive associations with log-transformed sodium levels (Immediate recall (IR) β = 4.25 (SE = 1.83, p-value 0.027); Delayed recall (DR) β = 6.54 (SE = 1.82, p-value 0.001)). Compared to normal sodium levels, hyponatremia was significantly associated with lower CERAD WLT-IR (β = -0.34, SE = 0.15, p-value 0.035) and CERAD WLT-DR scores (β -0.48, SE = 0.10, p-value < 0.001) and showed borderline significance with AFT scores (β = = -0.38, SE = 0.19, p-value 0.052). Hypernatremia did not show any significant relationships with cognitive test scores, compared to normal sodium levels.

Conclusions
Our cross-sectional study showed that lower sodium levels were associated with cognitive change, especially regarding memory and executive function.
ISSN
1471-2318
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/174775
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-021-02260-4
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Preventive Medicine (예방의학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_예방의학전공)
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