Sana Quaraishi

Document Type

Honors Thesis


In the United States, over thirty million Americans have received a heart disease diagnosis. The purpose of this work is to explore the lesser researched effects heart conditions have on other parts of the body, specifically regarding cognitive function. Using data with Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older, individuals with a diagnosis of either heart disease or a heart attack were looked at to see what effect their heart condition(s) had on their cognitive function. This was determined through five tests, which assessed various cognitive abilities. The tests included a rating of participant’s own memory to obtain subjective data, asking today’s date and asking the president and vice president for orientation status, immediate and delayed recall for recent memory and verbal learning, and a clock drawing for executive planning, numerical sequencing, gross motor, and visuospatial functions. Using a programming language, “R”, multiple logistic and multiple linear regressions were computed. The regressions showed cognitive function was significantly predicted by a cardiac history in every category, except for the clock drawing. This signifies orientation, recent memory and verbal learning, and subjective ratings of participants’ memories were significantly related to the diagnosis of these heart conditions. However, executive planning, numerical sequencing, gross motor, and spatial functions, as examined through a clock drawing, were not significantly related. With the immediate and delayed recall test, which represented recent memory and verbal learning, only heart attacks showed a significant prediction for the test, whereas heart disease did not.

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.