Atrial Fibrillation May Increase Risk for Dementia

Risk was more prominent in younger patients and those without chronic kidney disease
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FRIDAY, March 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Incident atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with a modestly increased risk for dementia, according to a study published online March 8 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Nisha Bansal, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues assessed whether AF is independently associated with the risk for dementia using data from adults seen at two large, integrated health care delivery systems between 2010 and 2017. The analysis included 196,968 adults (mean age, 73.6 years) with and without AF matched for age, sex, estimated glomerular filtration rate category, and study site.

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 3.3 years, incidence rates of dementia were 2.79 and 2.04 per 100 person-years in persons with and without incident AF, respectively. Incident AF was associated with a significantly greater risk for diagnosed dementia in adjusted analyses (subdistribution hazard ratio [sHR], 1.13). The association persisted with additional adjustment for interim stroke events (sHR, 1.10). Stronger associations were seen for age younger than 65 years (sHR, 1.65) versus 65 years and older (sHR, 1.07) and for those without (sHR, 1.20) versus with chronic kidney disease (sHR, 1.06). There were no meaningful differences observed by sex, race, or ethnicity.

"Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms underpinning these findings, which may motivate more aggressive use of AF therapies in at-risk populations," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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