Previous cross-sectional studies have identified a possible link between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and dementia. However, the association of H. pylori infection with longitudinal cognitive decline has rarely been investigated.
This cohort study aims to demonstrate the effects of H. pylori infection on longitudinal cognitive decline.
This cohort study recruited 268 subjects with memory complaints. Among these subjects, 72 had a history of H. pylori infection, and the rest 196 subjects had no H. pylori infection. These subjects were followed up for 24 months and received cognitive assessment in fixed intervals of 12 months.
At baseline, H. pylori infected, and uninfected participants had no difference in MMSE scores. At 2 years of follow-up, H. pylori infected participants had lower MMSE scores than uninfected participants. H. pylori infection was associated with an increased risk of longitudinal cognitive decline, as defined by a decrease of MMSE of 3 points or more during follow-up, adjusting for age, sex, education, APOEɛ4 genotype, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and smoking history (HR: 2.701; 95% CI: 1.392 to 5.242). H. pylori infection was associated with larger cognitive decline during follow-up, adjusting for the above covariates (standardized coefficient: 0.282, p < 0.001). Furthermore, H. pylori infected subjects had significantly higher speed of cognitive decline than uninfected subjects during follow-up, adjusting for the above covariates.
H. pylori infection increases the risk of longitudinal cognitive decline in older subjects with memory complaints. This study is helpful for further understanding the association between infection and dementia.