Posted on Mar 21, 2013, 6 a.m.
Atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia, associates with cognitive impairment and dementia, with or without a history of clinical stroke.
Atrial fibrillation (AF or A-fib) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). Jeremy N. Ruskin, from Massachusetts General Hospital (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of 14 observational and prospective studies of patients with or without stroke, finding that AF carries a significant risk for cognitive decline, even when stroke is not involved. The risk was similar when researchers excluded cognitive impairment and analyzed the studies only for dementia. The study authors call for: “Further studies are required to elucidate the association between [atrial fibrillation] and subtypes of dementia as well as the cause of cognitive impairment.”
Shadi Kalantarian; Theodore A. Stern; Moussa Mansour,; Jeremy N. Ruskin. “Cognitive Impairment Associated With Atrial Fibrillation: A Meta-analysis.” Ann Intern Med. 5 March 2013;158(5_Part_1):338-346.