Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Atrial Fibrillation Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm abnormality. Over two million Americans are thought to suffer from this arrhythmia, but many people don’t even know they have it. With this condition, the upper chambers of the heart beat rapidly and without much force. This can allow blood to pool and cause clots that could get into the brain and cause a stroke.

Now there is evidence that atrial fibrillation may double the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people under 70. Researchers collected information for more than 37,000 patients for five years. Over 10,000 developed atrial fib during that time and roughly 1,500 developed dementia. Many may have experienced silent mini-strokes that could have affected the brain. Whether aggressive treatment of this heart-rhythm abnormality would reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease remains to be determined.

[Heart Rhythm Society meeting, May, 2009]

Rate this article
0- 0 ratings
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.