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Rapid heartbeat linked to cognitive decline

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Having a rapid, irregular heartbeat could be a risk factor for cognitive decline according to a study published in Neurology.

Researchers at the University of Alabama found older people with atrial fibrillation were more likely to experience poorer memory and perform worse on cognitive tests than those without.

The study involved 5,150 people aged over 65, of whom 552 developed atrial fibrillation. Participants were administered yearly Mini Mental State Examinations over an average of seven years, and those with the heart condition declined faster than those without.

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