Objective: To investigate whether older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia have higher rates of procedures requiring general anesthesia or intensive care unit (ICU) admissions compared with cognitively normal (CN) patients. Patients and Methods: A population-based cohort, 70 to 89 years old at enrollment, underwent clinical and longitudinal neurocognitive testing to identify those with MCI and dementia. We analyzed the effects of cognitive status (CN, MCI, or dementia) at entry into the study from October 1, 2004, through December 31, 2014, on the risk of receiving procedures requiring surgical anesthesia and ICU admission. Results: Of 2436 participants, 1977 (81%) were CN, 387 (16%) had MCI, and 72 (3%) had dementia. Cognitively impaired individuals were sicker. Compared with CN individuals, the likelihood of receiving a procedure requiring anesthesia was similar in participants with MCI (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]=0.98; P=.78). Participants with dementia were less likely to receive these procedures (aHR=0.50; P=.02). Compared with CN participants, the likelihood of ICU admission for any indication was increased for those with MCI (aHR=1.24; P=.03) and dementia (aHR=1.59; P=.04). Admissions to the ICU after procedures were not different in patients with either MCI or dementia (aHR=0.96; P=.83 and aHR=1.01; P=.98, respectively). Conclusion: Patients with MCI or dementia are not more likely to undergo surgery, and neither are they more likely to require ICU admission after procedures. An increased rate of nonsurgical ICU admissions requires vigilance to prevent deterioration of nonsurgical diseases that may lead to ICU admissions.
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