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Adult Cardiopathy Linked to Increased Risk for Dementia

Only 4 and 9 percent of this effect was mediated by atrial fibrillation or stroke

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Adult cardiopathy is associated with an increased risk for dementia, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Michelle C. Johansen, M.D., Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort analysis of participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study attending visit 5 in 2011 to 2013 to examine the contribution of atrial cardiopathy to dementia risk. Atrial cardiopathy was defined as one or more of P-wave terminal force >5,000 mV-ms in electrocardiogram lead V1, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide >250 pg/mL, or left atrial volume index ≥34 mL/m2 by transthoracic echocardiography.

The prevalence of atrial cardiomyopathy was 34 percent among 5,078 participants, and 763 participants developed dementia. The researchers found that atrial cardiopathy was associated with dementia (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.35); when using two or more biomarkers to define atrial cardiopathy, the effect estimate was strengthened (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.54). When excluding those with atrial fibrillation (AF) or stroke, the increased risk for dementia among those with atrial cardiopathy persisted (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.31 and 1.28, respectively). The proportion of the effect mediated by AF or stroke was 4 and 9 percent, respectively.

“Among community-dwelling older adults, atrial cardiopathy was associated with an increased risk of dementia, even after controlling for known vascular risk, and this association was only minimally mediated by either AF or stroke,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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