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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.4 no.4 São Paulo Oct./Dec. 2010 

Original Articles

Body mass index, cognitive deficit and depressive symptoms in high cardiovascular risk patients

IMC, deficit cognitivo e sintomas depressivos em pacientes de alto risco cardiovascular

Amanda Lucas da Costa 1  

Juliana Santos Varela 1  

Matheus Roriz Cruz 2  

Andry Fitterman Costa 3  

Paulo Dornelles Picon 3  

Emilio Moriguch 3  

Márcia L.F. Chaves 1   2  

1Dementia Clinic, Neurology Service, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre RS, Brazil.

2Medical Sciences Post-Graduation Course, UFRGSSchool of Medicine, Porto Alegre RS, Brazil.

3Dyslipidemia and High Cardiovascular Risk Clinic, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre RS, Brazil.


To evaluate the relationship of obesity, cognitive impairment and depressive symptoms in patients with high cardiovascular risk. Methods: A sample of 93 patients aged 50 years or older was selected from the Center of Dyslipidemia and High Cardiovascular Risk from Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre (HCPA). Patients with stroke were excluded. For cognitive evaluation, the MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination) was used. A score of 24 or less was considered as cognitive impairment, and for those who had 4 years or less of education, the cutoff point was 17. The GDS-15 (Geriatric Depression Scale) was also used, with the cutoff of 6 for presence of depressive symptoms. Results: Obese patients showed lower mean MMSE scores compared to non-obese patients (p=0.0012). Additionally, for every one point increase in BMI above 30 there was a 27% increase in the chances of the patient having cognitive impairment. The obese patients presented 31% chance of having cognitive impairment compared with overweight subjects. Conclusions: Our findings corroborated the association between obesity and cognitive impairment in high cardiovascular risk patients. This association however, was not observed for depressive symptoms.

Key words: obesity; cognitive impairment; depression


Avaliar a associação entre obesidade, comprometimento cognitivo e sintomas depressivos em pacientes de alto risco cardiovascular. Métodos: Foi selecionada uma amostra de 93 pacientes com 50 anos ou mais em acompanhamento no Centro de Dislipidemia e Alto Risco Cardiovascular do Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre (HCPA). Pacientes com história de acidente vascular cerebral (AVC) foram excluídos. Para a avaliação cognitiva, foi utilizado o MEEM (Mini Exame do Estado Mental). Escores de 24 ou menos foram considerados como comprometimento cognitivo, para pacientes com 4 ou menos anos de escolaridade, o ponto de corte usado foi de 17 pontos. A escala GDS-15 (Geriatric Depression Scale) também foi utilizada, sendo adotado o ponto de corte 6 para a presença de sintomas depressivos. Resultados: Pacientes obesos apresentaram valores menores na média dos escores do MEEM quando comparados a pacientes não-obesos (p=0,0012). Além disso, para cada ponto de acréscimo no IMC acima de 30, houve um aumento de 27% na chance do paciente ter comprometimento cognitivo. Os pacientes obesos apresentaram 31% de chance de ter comprometimento cognitivo quando comparados com pacientes com sobrepeso. Conclusões: Os achados do presente estudo corroboram a associação entre obesidade e comprometimento cognitivo em pacientes de alto risco cardiovascular. Entretanto, esta associação não foi observada ao se analisar os sintomas depressivos.

Palavras-chave: obesidade; comprometimento cognitivo; depressão

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Received: August 20, 2010; Accepted: October 27, 2010

Márcia L.F. Chaves - Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2350 / sala 2040 - 90035-091 Porto Alegre RS - Brazil. E-mail:

Disclosure: The authors report no conflicts of interest

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