Older adults with an upper heart chamber that’s of abnormal size or doesn’t work well may have up to a 35% higher risk for dementia, according to new destilasi uap research.
The condition, called atrial cardiopathy, involves abnormalities in the left atrium, one of the two upper chambers of the heart. The link to dementia is present even if a person has not had heart symptoms, the study authors say.
The research, led by Michelle C. Johansen, MD, of the Department of Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, was published online Aug. 10 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Atrial cardiopathy has been linked to a higher risk of stroke and atrial fibrillation (AFib), and because both stroke and AFib are linked to a higher dementia risk, it was important to investigate whether atrial cardiopathy is linked to dementia, the study authors said.
Then, the next question was whether that link is independent of AFib and stroke, and their research suggests that it is.
More Than 5,000 Adults Studied
For the study, the researchers looked at a diverse population of 5,078 older adults living in four U.S. communities: Washington County, MD; Forsyth County, NC; northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis; and Jackson, MS.
Just more than a third (34%) had atrial cardiopathy (average age 75 years, 59% female, 21% Black adults) and 763 of the people studied developed dementia.
Investigators found that atrial cardiopathy had a big link to dementia; people with the heart condition were 35% more likely to have dementia.