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Surgical anaesthesia does not impair cognition in later life, study shows

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i311 (Published 20 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i311
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Having anaesthesia for surgery after age 40 is not associated with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment in later life, shows a US prospective study that collected data on cognitive function and ageing.1

Older people can develop transient cognitive dysfunction after anaesthesia and surgery, but it usually resolves within a few days or weeks. Researchers wanted to know whether surgical anaesthesia could be associated with more prolonged cognitive impairment.

They analysed data from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging and the Rochester Epidemiology Project on 1731 people aged …

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