According to a new study published in the Jama Network Open, smoking is associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia in patients with new-onset AF while smoking cessation after AF diagnosis was associated with a lower risk of dementia than among current smokers.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with an increasing prevalence in the elderly conferring a high risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes and health care costs. Cognitive dysfunction is prominent among patients with AF.

This nationwide cohort study included a total of 126 252 patients who had a national health checkup examination within 2 years before and after AF diagnosis. Based on their smoking status, participants were classified as never smokers, ex-smokers, quit smokers, and current smokers. Patients were followed up until dementia, death, or the study period ended whichever occurred first.

The results of the study showed that 51.9% were non smokers, 27.5% were ex-smokers, 7.1% quit smoking , and 13.5% were current smokers.

During a median of 3 years of follow-up, dementia occurred in 5925 patients. Hence, the researchers concluded that although smoking is associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia in patients with new-onset AF but Smoking cessation after AF diagnosis was associated with a lower risk of dementia than among current smokers.

These findings may support promoting smoking cessation to reduce dementia risk in patients with new-onset AF.

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