Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018 September, 246(1)

Inverse Relationship between Baseline Serum Albumin Levels and Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment in Elderly: A Seven-Year Retrospective Cohort Study

LU WANG,1 FENG WANG,1 JUAN LIU,2 QIANG ZHANG1 and PING LEI1

1Department of Geriatrics, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin Geriatrics Institute, Tianjin, China
2Department of Ultrasound, Tianjin People's Hospital, Tianjin, China

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the prophase of dementia. MCI patients have a high risk of developing dementia. Relatively low serum albumin levels are associated with the development of several geriatric diseases, including stroke and poor cognitive performance. However, the potential relationship between serum albumin levels and MCI risk has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we explored this relationship to increase our understanding of the pathogenesis of MCI, the finding of which may provide new ideas for the controlling of dementia. A total of 1,800 subjects who had normal cognitive function at their first health examinations (seven years ago) were retrospectively analyzed from a health database in Tianjin Medical University General Hospital. They were over 60 years old at baseline, and the follow-up period was 7 years. At the time of data collection (seven years after), 196 subjects suffered from MCI, diagnosed by symptoms and Mini-Mental State Examination. The remaining 1,604 subjects were still cognitively normal. Multivariate COX regression analysis showed that relatively low serum albumin levels at baseline (< 40.5 g/L) were associated with the increased risk of MCI (HR: 2.18, 95% CI: 1.67-2.82). Moreover, the effect of low serum albumin on the risk of MCI was further enhanced among the subjects with hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipemia, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, high serum levels of C-reactive protein, or relatively low levels of uric acid or total bilirubin. In conclusion, relatively low serum concentrations of albumin may be an independent risk factor for MCI in elderly.

Key words —— albumin; dementia; elderly; mild cognitive impairment; risk factor

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Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018, 246, 51-57

Correspondence: Ping Lei, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Geriatrics, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin Geriatrics Institute, No. 154 Anshan Road, Heping District, Tianjin 300052, China.

e-mail: leiping_1974@163.com