New research into atrial fibrillation (AF) and dementia has found that the heart condition may increase the risk of dementia when compared to those without AF | Neurology | Story via PHARMAfield
A study published in the journal Neurology has found that people with atrial fibrillation may experience a faster decline in thinking and memory skills and have a greater risk of dementia than those without the heart condition.
In the study, researchers looked at data on 2,685 participants with an average age of 73 who were followed for an average of six years as part of a larger study. Participants were examined and interviewed at the start of the study and then once after six years for those younger than 78 and once every three years for those 78 and older. All participants were free of dementia at the start of the study, but 243 people, or 9 percent, had atrial fibrillation.
Through face-to-face interviews and medical examinations, researchers gathered lifestyle and medical data on participants at the start of the study and during each follow-up visit. All were screened for atrial fibrillation, for overall thinking and memory skills, as well as dementia.
Over the course of the study, an additional 279 people (11%), developed atrial fibrillation, and 399 (15%), developed dementia.
Researchers found that those who had atrial fibrillation had a faster rate of decline in thinking and memory skills than those without the condition and were 40% more likely to develop dementia. Of the 2,163 people who did not have irregular heartbeat, 278 people developed dementia (10%). Of the 522 people with irregular heartbeat, 121 developed dementia (23%).
Researchers also found that people who took blood thinners for atrial fibrillation had a 60 percent decreased risk of dementia.
Full story at PHARMAfield
Link to research: Mozhu Ding et al. | Atrial fibrillation, antithrombotic treatment, and cognitive aging | Neurology | Published ahead of print on October 10, 2018