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Treating Common Irregular Heartbeat Might Also Ward Off Alzheimer's
Date:5/13/2010

palpitations, shortness of breath or fatigue and chest discomfort. Atrial fibrillation sharply increases risk of stroke, heart failure, dementia and premature death, experts said.

About one in 20 people over age 65 has it, while one in 10 ages 80 to 85 have it, Page said.

At last year's meeting, Day's team presented research showing that people with atrial fibrillation were 44 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease over a five-year period than those without the heart disorder. The association was especially strong for people under the age of 70. Those with atrial fibrillation were 130 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

"If you have both atrial fibrillation and Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's disease seems to be very aggressive," Day added.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on atrial fibrillation.



SOURCES: John D. Day, M.D, cardiologist and electrophysiologist, Heart Institute, Intermountain Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah; Richard L. Page, M.D., president, Heart Rhythm Society, and chair, department of medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc.; Heart Rhythm 2010, Denver, Colo., two studies presented May 13, 2010


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