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Irregular Heartbeat Link To Dementia

Irregular Heartbeat Link To Dementia

New studies have suggested that people who have an irregular heartbeat, otherwise known as Atrial Fibrillation, may be at a greater risk of developing a dementia.

The American Academy of Neurology* studied 2,685 people and found that people in this category were more likely to experience ‘a faster decline in thinking and memory sills and have a greater risk of dementia than those without atrial fibrillation’.

The studies, that took place in Sweden, surveyed people who had an average age of 73 and who began by being free from dementia.  Of 522 people who had an irregular heartbeat, 121 (23%) went on to develop dementia.

However, for those who took blood thinning medication for the condition, there was a 60% reduced risk; only 11% of people developed dementia  compared to 22% for those who did not take this medication.

Dr James Picket, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society stated:

‘Within this large, well-executed study people with atrial fibrillation (AF) were overall at a greater risk of developing vascular dementia than people without AF….this research adds even more weight to the relationship between heart health, stroke and vascular dementia risk, which are all affected by blood pressure and your circulatory system’ (Alzheimer’s Society Comment, Thurs 11 October 2018)

 

*For further information please see:  American Academy of Neurology: https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1674

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