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Int J Neurosci. 2013 Aug;123(8):544-52. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2013.774396. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Left atrial size is independently associated with cognitive function.

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Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA.


Left atrial (LA) diameter is easily attainable from echocardiograph and sensitive to underlying cardiovascular disease severity, although its association with neurocognitive outcomes is not well understood. Fifty older adults (64.50 ± 9.41 years), recruited from outpatient cardiology clinics and local papers who underwent magnetic resonance imaging, were administered the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), and completed psychosocial self-report measures. LA diameter was quantified using echocardiogram. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that greater LA size was independently associated with reduced performance on the following RBANS composites: language, delayed memory, and total index (p < 0.05 for all). Hierarchical regression analysis demonstrated no significant association between LA diameter and whole brain volume (p > 0.05). The current study suggests that greater LA size is associated with cognitive dysfunction in older adults and prospective studies are needed to validate these findings and elucidate underlying mechanisms.

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