Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, even with no overt stroke. Hypertension has been a potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia, especially in midlife (<70 years) individuals. We aimed to investigate the associations of blood pressure (BP) and hypertension burden with dementia risk among midlife AF patients. From the Korean National Health Insurance Service database, we enrolled 171 228 incident AF patients aged 50 to 69 years with no prior dementia from 2005 to 2016. During a mean of 6.6 years of follow-up, 9909 patients received a first-time diagnosis of dementia. U-shaped relationships were noted between systolic or diastolic BP and dementia risk: A 10 mm Hg increase or decrease in systolic BP starting from 120 mm Hg was associated with 4.4% (95% CI, 2.7%–6.0%) and 4.6% (95% CI, 0.1%–8.2%) higher dementia risk, respectively. An increase or decrease in diastolic BP starting from 80 mm Hg also increased dementia risk. In subtype analyses, Alzheimer disease increases with BP decrease whereas vascular dementia increases according to BP increase. When BP changes over time were accounted for in time-updated models, BP of 120 to 129/80 to 84 mm Hg was associated with the lowest dementia risk. Increasing hypertension burden (the proportion of days with increased BP during follow-up) was associated with higher dementia risk (hazard ratio, 1.10 per 10% increase [95% CI, 1.08–1.12]). Among midlife AF patients, there were a U-shaped association of BP and a log-linear association of hypertension burden with dementia risk. Minimizing the burden of hypertension in AF patients might help to prevent dementia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine