Background-—Atrial fibrillation (AF) has been associated with faster cognitive decline and increased dementia risk. Factors associated with dementia in patients with AF have been seldom studied. Methods and Results-—We studied 6432 individuals from the ARIC-NCS (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study). In 2011 to 2013, participants underwent a physical exam, echocardiography, detailed cognitive assessments, and a subset, brain magnetic resonance imaging. Dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as well as etiology of MCI/dementia, Alzheimer’s disease–related or vascular, were adjudicated by an expert panel. AF was defined by study ECGs and past hospitalizations. We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios and 95% CI of MCI/dementia by AF status and to assess cross-sectional correlates of MCI/dementia in patients with AF. Among 6432 participants, 611 (9.5%) had prevalent AF. AF was associated with increased odds of dementia and MCI (odds ratio, 95% CI, 2.25, 1.64–3.10, and 1.28, 1.04–1.56, respectively). Prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease–related MCI/dementia and vascular MCI/dementia were higher in participants with AF than without AF (odds ratio, 95% CI, 1.29, 1.04–1.61, and 1.50, 0.99–2.25, respectively). In multivariable analyses, older age, lower body mass index, diabetes mellitus, stroke, and APOE genotype were associated with dementia prevalence in participants with AF. In models evaluating MCI/dementia subtypes, diabetes mellitus was associated with Alzheimer’s disease–related MCI/dementia, whereas male sex and stroke were risk factors for vascular MCI/dementia. Conclusions-—In a large, community-based study, AF was associated with higher prevalence of MCI and dementia. Controlling cardiometabolic risk factors is a potential target for prevention of adverse cognitive outcomes in AF patients. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6:e006014. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.006014.).
- Atrial fibrillation
- cognitive impairment
- risk factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine