WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) — An artificial intelligence-enabled electrocardiogram (AI-ECG) for atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with cognition and may predict cognitive decline, according to a study published in the May issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Erika L. Weil, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues conducted a population-based study involving sinus-rhythm ECG participants seen from Nov. 29, 2004, through July 13, 2020, and a subset with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) seen from Oct. 10, 2011, through Nov. 2, 2017, to examine whether AI-ECG assessment of AF risk can predict cognitive decline. The AI-ECG-AF relationship with baseline cognitive dysfunction was determined by comparing models with global and domain-specific cognitive z-scores from longitudinal neuropsychological assessments. A total of 3,729 participants underwent cognitive analysis.

The researchers found that the AI-ECG-AF score correlated with lower baseline and faster decline in global-cognitive z-scores and attention z-scores after adjustment for age, sex, education, and APOE ε4 status. A total of 1,373 sinus-rhythm participants underwent MRI; the AI-ECG-AF score correlated with infarcts, but after age and sex adjustments the correlation was not significant. An AI-ECG-AF score >0.5 correlated with infarcts in dichotomized analysis (odds ratio, 4.61); the significant correlation persisted even after age and sex adjustment (odds ratio, 2.09).

“The main finding is that the AI-ECG-AF score was associated with both baseline and future decline in global cognition and attention in individuals without known AF,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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