POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES (11.19.2021, 4:50pm CEST, WHO):   India 11,106    Brazil 11,977    United Kingdom 46,858    Russia 37,156    Turkey 22,234    France 19,840    Argentina 1,553    Germany 52,970    Spain 3,932    Columbia 2,257    Italy 10,645    Mexico 3,836    Ukraine 20,050    Poland 23,242    Philippines 1,297    Malaysia 6,380    Netherlands 23,680    Peru 1,370    Thailand 6,855    Czechia 13,374    Canada 2,448    Romania 3,076    Chile 2,611    Serbia 3,219    Sweden 1,210    Portugal 2,398    Vietnam 10,223    Kazakhstan 1,272    Austria 14,212    Hungary 11,289    Greece 7,276    Georgia 4,278    Bulgaria 2,785    Belarus 1,844    Slovakia 7,418    Azerbaijan 2,124    Croatia 7,270    Bolivia 1,119    Ireland 4,646    Lithuania 1,847    Denmark 4,013    South Korea 3,034    Slovenia 3,662    Latvia 1,221    Laos 1,401    China 31    New Zealand 200    Australia 1,302   

Widely used heart drug tied to dementia risk

Staff writer |
People with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation may have a heightened risk of developing dementia and the quality of their drug treatment may play a role, a new study hints.

Article continues below






Specifically, researchers found, patients on the clot-preventing drug warfarin showed a higher dementia risk if their blood levels of the medication were frequently too high or too low.

And that was true not only for people with atrial fibrillation, but also for those using warfarin for other reasons.

Dr. Jared Bunch, the lead researcher on the study, said the findings uncover two potential concerns: People with atrial fibrillation may face an increased risk of dementia, independent of warfarin use, but warfarin might also contribute to dementia if the doses are not optimal.

"If people's levels of warfarin were erratic, their dementia risk was higher, whether they had AF or not," said Bunch, who was scheduled to present his findings Thursday at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting, in San Francisco.

The results do not prove that either atrial fibrillation or warfarin are to blame, according to Bunch, a cardiologist at Intermountain Medical Center, in Murray, Utah.

But, he said, there is reason to believe that both could contribute to dementia - in part because of effects on blood flow to the brain.

Atrial fibrillation is a common arrhythmia, affecting about 3 million U.S. adults, according to the Heart Rhythm Society. In it, the upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of contracting efficiently. The condition is not immediately life-threatening, but it can cause blood clots to form in the heart.

If a clot breaks free and lodges in an artery supplying the brain, that can trigger a stroke.

Because of that, people with atrial fibrillation often take medications that cut the risk of blood clots. Those include aspirin or anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin).


What to read next

Computer-based test aims to predict dementia risk
Immune disorders may be tied to dementia risk
Drug tied to dementia risk overprescribed to seniors