New findings confirm atrial fibrillation (AF) is independently associated with the risk of all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's and other senile and vacular dementia types. According to a study published in the April edition of the HeartRhythm Journal, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, the presence of atrial fibrillation indicated highter mortality rates in all dementia subtypes; however, mortality risk was most prominent in the youngest population studied.
The study evaluated 37.025 patients from the Intermountain Heart Collaborative Study database between the ages of 60 and 90 years over a 5-year period. The study population included all patients who were seen by cardiologists for the development of atrial fibrillation and different types of dementia including vascular, senile, Alzheimer's and other nonspecified types. During the five-year period, a total of 10,161 patients (27 percent) developed and 1,535 (4.1 percent) developed dementia.