Alzheimer disease and dementia more likely if your heart is pumping less

Alzheimer disease and dementia more likely if your heart is pumping less

Alzheimer disease is characterized by loss of memory (dementia) and learned functions. A new study published in Circulation has shown that the chance of dementia and Alzheimer disease increases if the heart pumps out less blood every minute. Our heart pumps out about five litres of blood every minute and this figure is known as the cardiac output. If we divide it by the body surface area in meters, we get what is known as cardiac index.  The study found that those with low cardiac index had a higher risk of developing dementia (Hazard Ratio 2.07). The study had evaluated over a thousand individuals from the famous Framingham Offspring Cohort, who were free of stroke or dementia initially and were around the age of seventy years, with almost equal male / female ratio.

The results were significant as it was obtained after adjusting for Framingham Stroke Risk Profile score which accounted for differences due to age, sex, blood pressure, medications for high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, cigarette smoking, history of heart disease and atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm originating from the upper chambers of the heart).