SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- iRhythm Technologies, Inc. announced today that study results showed an association between a high burden of atrial fibrillation (AFib) and lower cognitive function. Previous studies have shown a relationship between AFib, cognitive decline and increased risk of dementia. However, this study, which was led by researchers at the University of Minnesota, demonstrates a correlation between high AFib burden - the percent of time a person has AFib - and cognition. The study, "Persistent but not Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Is Independently Associated with Lower Cognitive Function: ARIC Study" was published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).
The study was based on 325 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study who wore iRhythm Technologies' ZIO® Patch, a non-invasive, leadless, cardiac monitor that can record and store up to two weeks of ECG data. The study found that compared with participants who did not have AFib, participants with AFib burden of 100% had lower Animal Naming (AN), Trail Making Test part B, and Digit Span Backwards (DSB) scores. By contrast, participants with an AFib burden of 1% to 6% did not have lower cognitive test scores than those without AFib.
"These associations are significant as they suggest that higher AFib burden may be related to lower cognitive function," said lead author Lin Yee Chen, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor and Medical Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory, Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota. "To determine AFib burden, and not just the presence or absence of AFib, continuous monitoring and analysis of all of the data are required. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and the underlying mechanisms."
The study had several limitations including: 1) it was a small cross-sectional trial comprised of mostly white participants and evaluated cognitive scores at a single point in time, 2) given the numerous comparisons, positive findings could be due to chance, and 3) AFib burden was grouped into the categories described above and therefore, the full spectrum of AFib burden could not be evaluated.
To follow-up on the research findings, Dr. Chen has just been awarded an R01 grant, "Significance of Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Fibrillation Burden Detected by Novel ECG Monitoring in Community-Dwelling Elderly" from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
About iRhythm Technologies, Inc.
iRhythm is a commercial-stage digital healthcare company focused on cardiac arrhythmia detection. The company combines wearable biosensor devices with cloud-based technology to improve how heart arrhythmias are diagnosed. iRhythm's digital health technology and diagnostic support services provide clear, actionable information for physicians, and are clinically proven to enhance clinical decision making and to lower healthcare costs. Its flagship solution, the ZIO Service, offers a proven approach to continuous ECG monitoring for up to 14 days. The ZIO Service may enable physicians to diagnose arrhythmias earlier in the clinical pathway as compared to traditional technologies in order to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. For more information, please visit www.irhythmtech.com. The ZIO Service has been used with over 400,000 patients at nearly 1,000 institutions across the U.S., making use of over 100 million hours of heartbeat data from continuous ECG recordings.
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SOURCE iRhythm Technologies, Inc.