Thursday, March 17, 2011

Atrial fibrillation and dementia risk

Atrial fibrillation is a disturbance in people's heartbeat. It is harmless in itself but can increase the risk of stroke. A new study, by researchers at the University of East Anglia, suggests that those people who have atrial fibrillation after a stroke are at an increased risk of developing dementia. The researchers analysed 15 studies and found that stroke survivors with atrial fibrillation were 2.4 times as likely to develop dementia. Blood-thinning drugs and medication to slow people's irregular heartbeats are often prescribed to reduce the risk of further strokes and this study shows that they could reduce the incidence of dementia as well.

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