A Study Finds That AFib Increases the Risk of Dementia

New research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association claims that People with atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common cardiac arrhythmia, might be at a greater risk of developing dementia.

The researchers assessed about 200,000 adults in California over an average of about three and a half years and found about 50% of participants to be diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. They discovered that younger people with atrial fibrillation possess a significantly greater risk of dementia than older individuals and that cognitive decline was more prevalent in people without chronic kidney disease. Their study suggested atrial fibrillation as a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.

Although the mechanisms remain unclear, some scientists suspect that atrial fibrillation may influence cerebral blood flow, boosting the risk of brain injuries that affect cognitive functioning.

The researchers concluded their study by mentioning that irrespective of its association with stroke, atrial fibrillation might be a clinically-important risk factor for dementia among young, otherwise healthy people.

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