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The potential relationship between anaesthesia, surgery and onset of
dementia remains elusive.
To determine whether the risk of dementia increases after surgery with
anaesthesia, and to evaluate possible associations among age, mode of
anaesthesia, type of surgery and risk of dementia.
The study cohort comprised patients aged 50 years and older who were
anaesthetised for the first time since 1995 between 1 January 2004 and 31
December 2007, and a control group of randomly selected patients matched
for age and gender. Patients were followed until 31 December 2010 to
identify the emergence of dementia.
Relative to the control group, patients who underwent anaesthesia and
surgery exhibited an increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio = 1.99) and
a reduced mean interval to dementia diagnosis. The risk of dementia
increased in patients who received intravenous or intramuscular
anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia and general anaesthesia.
The results of our nationwide, population-based study suggest that
patients who undergo anaesthesia and surgery may be at increased risk of
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