Thursday, June 6, 2013

Unsteady Heartbeat Could Spell Early Dementia

 

An irregular heartbeat may be a sign you're on the fast track to dementia, according to a new study.

While thinking and memory problems are common in the elderly, the study of more than 5,000 people over age 65 showed that those with the heart condition atrial fibrillation tend to suffer mental decline earlier than people without the heart condition.

The reason for the link is unclear, and the findings don't mean that everyone with atrial fibrillation will suffer earlier mental decline, said study researcher Evan Thacker, a statistician in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "One person who has atrial fibrillation may not have any memory or thinking problems at all."

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