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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Aug;59(8):1369-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03508.x. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Atrial fibrillation and risk of dementia: a prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA. dublin.s@ghc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with risk of incident dementia or Alzheimer's disease (AD), beyond its effect on stroke.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

An integrated healthcare delivery system.

PARTICIPANTS:

A population-based sample of 3,045 community-dwelling adults aged 65 and older without dementia or clinical stroke followed from 1994 to 2008.

MEASUREMENTS:

AF was identified from health plan electronic data using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes from inpatient and outpatient encounters. Covariates came from self-report, study measures, and health plan data. Participants were screened every 2 years using the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (range 0-100), with detailed neuropsychological and clinical assessment of those scoring less than 86. A multidisciplinary consensus committee determined diagnoses of all-cause dementia and possible or probable AD using standard research criteria.

RESULTS:

AF was present in 132 (4.3%) participants at baseline and was diagnosed in 370 (12.2%) more over a mean of 6.8 years of follow-up; 572 participants (18.8%) developed dementia (449 with AD). The adjusted hazard ratio associated with AF was 1.38 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.10-1.73) for all-cause dementia and 1.50 (95% CI=1.16-1.94) for possible or probable AD. Results were similar for participants with and without clinically recognized stroke during follow-up and in sensitivity analyses examining only probable AD.

CONCLUSION:

AF is associated with higher risk of developing AD and dementia. Future studies should examine whether specific treatments, including optimal anticoagulation, can decrease this risk.

PMID:
21806558
PMCID:
PMC3289545
DOI:
10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03508.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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