Abnormal heart rhythm linked to dementia?


April 16, 2010 2:37:51 PM PDT
People with a form of abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation are more likely than others to develop dementia, including Alzheimer's.

That's the finding of a study reported in the Heart Rhythm Journal.

Researchers followed more than 37,000 people without atrial fibrillation or dementia over a five-year period. They found the risk was greatest for those under the age of 70.

The authors believe both atrial fibrillation and dementia may arise from the same risk factors, such as hypertension.

Another possibility is that atrial fibrillation increases inflammation.

Dementia has been found to be higher in people with signs of systemic inflammation.