Heart disease as a risk factor for dementia
Justin B Ng,1 Michele Turek,2,3 Antoine M Hakim4–7
1Departments of Neuroscience and Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; 2Division of Cardiology, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, 3Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, 4Division of Neurology, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, 5Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, 6Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, 7Canadian Stroke Network, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Abstract: As life expectancy lengthens, dementia is becoming a significant human condition in terms of its prevalence and cost to society worldwide. It is important in that context to understand the preventable and treatable causes of dementia. This article exposes the link between dementia and heart disease in all its forms, including coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, valvular disease, and heart failure. This article also explores the cardiovascular risk factors and emphasizes that several of them are preventable and treatable. In addition to medical therapies, the lifestyle changes that may be useful in retarding the onset of dementia are also summarized.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, valvular disease, heart failure, cardiovascular risk factors, prevention
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