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Cardiac disease and cognitive impairment: a systematic review
  1. Laura H P Eggermont1,
  2. Karin de Boer2,
  3. Majon Muller3,
  4. Artur C Jaschke1,
  5. Otto Kamp2,
  6. Erik J A Scherder1
  1. 1Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laura H P Eggermont, Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, VU University, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands; lhp.eggermont{at}


Cognitive impairment in cardiac patients may interfere with disease management. This review describes studies examining specific cognitive impairments in cardiac patients and studies that investigate the link between echocardiographic and cognitive measures. Executive function impairments were frequently reported in different patient groups. Also, lower cardiac output and worse left ventricular diastolic function are linked to executive function deficits. In cardiac patients, special attention should be paid to these executive function impairments in view of their role in disease management and independent living. Interventions that stimulate executive function should be encouraged and integrated in cardiac treatment protocols.

  • Cardiac diseases
  • heart failure
  • echocardiography
  • cardiac output
  • cognition
  • psychology/psychiatry
  • cardiac function
  • neurology
  • hypertension
  • ACE
  • angiotensin receptor blockers
  • epidemiology
  • stroke
  • atrial fibrillation
  • contrast echocardiography
  • echocardiography (three-dimensional)
  • myocardial infarction
  • stress echocardiography

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.