Chronic kidney disease and cognitive impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Am J Nephrol. 2012;35(5):474-82. doi: 10.1159/000338135. Epub 2012 May 3.


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has emerged as a possible new risk factor of cognitive impairment and dementia, but results of studies remain conflicting.

Methods: A systematic literature research of electronic databases (MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and Goggle Scholar covering the period from 1980 to January 2012) and meta-analysis of relevant cross-sectional and longitudinal studies were conducted to assess the association of CKD and cognitive decline.

Results: Most cross-sectional and longitudinal studies suggest an association between cognitive impairment and CKD. Meta-analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies comprising 54,779 participants yielded an association of cognitive decline in patients with CKD compared with patients without CKD (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.32-2.05; p < 0.001, and OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.15-1.68; p < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: This is the first meta-analysis assessing the impact of CKD on cognitive decline. Our results suggest CKD being a significant and independent somatic risk factor in the development of cognitive decline.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors