The relationship between cardiovascular disease and cerebral infarction was analysed in a prospectively assessed post mortem series of 48 demented patients. Hypertension was rare in this group of patients whose mean age was 82.7 y. Atrial fibrillation was the most important underlying cardiac abnormality. It is suggested that atrial fibrillation is more important than hypertension in the aetiology of cerebral infarction in the very aged and that this may be relevant to the pathogenesis of cerebrovascular dementia.
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