Evid Based Med 18:e16 doi:10.1136/eb-2012-100809
  • Online articles
  • Randomised controlled trial

Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of cognitive and functional decline

  1. Nigel Beckett2
  1. 1School of Public Health, Imperial College London, St Mary’s Campus, London UK
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, London UK
  1. Correspondence to: Ruth Peters
    Imperial College London, School of Public Health St Marys Campus, London W2 1PG, UK; r.peters{at}

Commentary on:


Stroke (clinical and subclinical) is associated with increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. The thromboembolic risk for stroke from atrial fibrillation (AF) is modifiable. The prevalence of AF has been estimated at up to 8% in a large retrospective cohort study of those aged 67 and over, with incidence rising with increasing age (mean age at diagnosis was 80 years).1 A recent meta-analysis found an association between AF and incident dementia in those with recent stroke but less evidence in those without stroke, and commented on the heterogeneity among the studies in this area.2 A subsequent cohort study (n=3045) in those aged ≥65 has reported that …

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