WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with increased odds of and with more rapid progression to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia among women versus men, according to a study published online June 23 in Alzheimer's & Dementia to coincide the annual meeting of the Association of Cardiovascular Nursing & Allied Professions, held from June 23 to 24 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Kathryn A. Wood, Ph.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues examined sex differences between AF and neuropsychological tests and cognitive disease progression using data from 43,630 participants in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center.
The researchers found that AF is associated with increased odds of dementia and MCI in women versus men (odds ratios, 3.00 and 3.43, respectively). Compared to men with AF or men and women without AF, women with AF and normal baseline cognition had a higher risk of disease progression from normal to MCI (hazard ratio, 1.26) and from MCI to vascular dementia (hazard ratio, 3.27).
"The analyses indicate stronger associations between atrial fibrillation and declining cognitive function in women compared with men," Wood said in a statement. "Establishing ways to identify atrial fibrillation patients at the highest risk of cognitive decline and stroke will inform future interventions to prevent or slow the progression to cognitive impairment and dementia."