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Alzheimer's Risk Rises With Heart Bypass

Patients who undergo an angioplasty or heart bypass surgery may increase their chances of developing Alzheimer's disease, not completely unexpected considering a 2001 study found such procedures may prompt mental declines.

The reason for the increased risk of Alzheimer's: The stress and trauma surrounding such procedures. In fact, coronary bypass patients alone had a frighteningly high 70 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer's

Also, patients who suffered a mental decline after their heart procedures and subsequently recovered weren't out of the woods either. Researchers believe their recovery may be masking a problem caused by the heart surgery. And, as patients age, this could trigger progressive cognitive deficits, associated with mild impairments, a precursor to Alzheimer's.

The best way to avoid the risk of Alzheimer's disease after a heart procedure pretty simple. "Bypass" heart disease altogether by making some simple lifestyle changes:

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Vol. 7, No. 4, August 2005: 319-324

Science Blog August 25, 2005

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