Home Health Heart disease affecting more than a million Britons (and Miley Cyrus) increases the risk of dementia by 68 per cent and doubles the chance of suffering a stroke, experts warn

Heart disease affecting more than a million Britons (and Miley Cyrus) increases the risk of dementia by 68 per cent and doubles the chance of suffering a stroke, experts warn

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Miley Cyrus is known to suffer from atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat disease that affects 1.4 million in Britain.

People with a common heart rhythm problem face a much higher risk of suffering a stroke and developing dementia than previously thought, a study suggests.

Atrial fibrillation (AF), an electrical fault that causes a fast or irregular pulse, affects 1.4 million people in Britain. Celebrities such as Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Tony Blair and Joe Biden are among the celebrities who are known to suffer from this.

The condition has long been known to increase the risk of stroke, as sufferers are more likely to develop blood clots that supply circulation to the brain.

For this reason, people at higher risk are given an anticoagulant medication to prevent an attack.

But researchers now believe that even those considered low risk (and not given blood thinners) may be more likely to suffer serious health problems.

Miley Cyrus is known to suffer from atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat disease that affects 1.4 million in Britain.

Elton John's irregular heartbeat was so severe he needed a pacemaker

Elton John’s irregular heartbeat was so severe he needed a pacemaker

A team from the University of Birmingham examined data from more than five million people registered with UK GP surgeries.

Among them, they identified 36,340 patients with AF who had no history of stroke, a low perceived risk of stroke, and no prescription for anticoagulants.

They were followed for an average of five years to assess their risk of stroke, vascular dementia or death. Their data were compared with information obtained from 117,000 healthy people without AF.

Despite being in the low-risk group, about 3.8 percent of AF patients suffered a stroke, compared with 1.5 percent of healthy people.

And people with this condition were 68 percent more likely to develop vascular dementia, a form of the disease linked to problems with circulation in the brain.

According to the study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, nine percent of people with AF died compared to five percent of healthy people.

Dipak Kotecha, professor of cardiology at the University of Birmingham and lead author of the study, said: “Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common heart diseases, with more than 60 million cases expected worldwide by 2050.

‘As its prevalence continues to increase, it is essential that we develop strategies to prevent not only strokes, but also outcomes such as dementia, which are a major concern for patients and healthcare systems.

“Our research highlights the urgency of addressing AF comprehensively, taking into account its overall impact on patients’ well-being.”

Alastair Mobley, a researcher at the University of Birmingham, said: “This study demonstrates a clear correlation between AF and vascular dementia.

«This may have a similar mechanism to the association between AF and stroke.

“Ongoing clinical trials are exploring whether anticoagulants in lower-risk patients may provide a way to prevent these poor outcomes.”

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. In some cases, people with this condition have a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.

It is the most common heart rhythm alteration. The condition has been linked to blood clots and there are “numerous” tools to estimate stroke risk among people with AF, but researchers said they have only “modest predictive power” and do not consider other outcomes such as vascular dementia. .

The authors highlight how guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and others recommend the use of anticoagulants only in patients with a high stroke risk score.

They said more trials are needed to evaluate whether AF patients could benefit from earlier use of anticoagulants to prevent these poor outcomes.

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