Navigation Links
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Linked to Alzheimer's

Cardiovascular disease appears to be a major risk factor for dementia, expert says

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- People with atrial fibrillation, a form of abnormal heart rhythm, are more likely than others to develop dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, a new study finds.

The presence of atrial fibrillation also predicted higher death rates in dementia patients, especially among younger patients in the group studied, meaning under the age of 70.

"This leaves us with the finding that atrial fibrillation, independent of everything else, is a risk factor [for dementia]," said Dr. Gary Kennedy, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "This is adding one more brick in the road toward understanding that cardiovascular disease is a major risk factor for dementia."

"Alzheimer's disease, in particular, is one where we don't quite understand the risk factors and what causes it, so studies [like this] that try to investigate the causative effect will help us understand that and ultimately design therapies and approaches to prevent or minimize disease," added Dr. Jared Bunch, lead author of a study appearing in the April edition of the HeartRhythm Journal and a cardiologist/ electrophysiologist with Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah.

This study, however, was not specifically set up to establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

The authors looked at 37,025 patients without atrial fibrillation or dementia, aged 60 to 90, over a five-year period.

Individuals who developed atrial fibrillation had a higher risk of all types of dementia, even when other risk factors were taken into account. Alzheimer's disease is by far the most common form of dementia.

More surprising was that those in the younger group -- under age 70 -- who had atrial fibrillation had the highest risk of developing dementia, even though dementia is normally associated with aging. People in this group were also at a 38 percent higher risk of dying.

Among the 764 patients who developed both conditions, diagnosis of atrial fibrillation usually happened first, followed by a diagnosis of dementia. Sometimes the diagnoses occurred simultaneously, the researchers noted.

The authors hypothesized that both atrial fibrillation and dementia may arise from the same risk factors, such as hypertension. Another possibility is that atrial fibrillation increases inflammation, and dementia has been shown to be higher in people with signs of systemic inflammation. Investigating whether treatment of hypertension and/or inflammation in AF patients might help curb the risk of dementia is an area of future study, the researchers added.

"From a public health perspective, the best thing we can do to decrease the coming epidemic of Alzheimer's disease is to do a much better, more aggressive job of helping people with heart disease," Kennedy said. "That means diet and exercise, of course -- everyone knows that. We need to look at obstacles that people encounter beyond their own behavior, obstacles we put up environmentally in the workplace, in the school, that keep people from having better diet and exercise. A heart-healthy diet and lifestyle are really the best means we have available to prevent dementia."

About 2.2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation, while an estimated 5.5 million suffer from Alzheimer's.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on atrial fibrillation.

SOURCES: Jared Bunch, M.D., cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, Utah; Gary Kennedy, M.D., director, geriatric psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; April 2010 Heart Rhythm Journal

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Newborns of Smokers Have Abnormal Blood Pressure
2. Brain Abnormalities in Parkinson's Patients Develop Before Symptoms Occur, According to Feinstein Scientists
3. Parkinsons patients who are pathological gamblers also display abnormal social behavior
4. Surgeons Create Palate for Baby with Rare Facial Abnormality
5. Overweight children may develop back pain and spinal abnormalities
6. Overweight Children may Develop Back Pain and Spinal Abnormalities
7. New study finds 70 percent of able-bodied hockey players have abnormal hip and pelvis MRIs
8. Autism Consortium study in Pediatrics shows CMA finds more genetic abnormalities than current tests
9. Mount Sinai researchers are the first to identify heart abnormalities in World Trade Center workers
10. Researchers ID brain abnormalities in children exposed to methamphetamine in utero
11. New research identifies modifiable risk factors for heart disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With ... fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated his ... implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure is ... to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to help ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their ... global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach USD ... in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial ... of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial ... of 2016, and to report top line data ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: