Left atrial size is independently associated with cognitive function

Michael L. Alosco, John Gunstad, Beth A. Jerskey, Uraina S. Clark, Jason J. Hassenstab, Xiaomeng Xu, Athena Poppas, Ronald A. Cohen, Lawrence H. Sweet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Left atrial (LA) diameter is easily attainable from echocardiograph and sensitive to underlying cardiovascular disease severity, although its association with neurocognitive outcomes is not well understood. Fifty older adults (64.50 ± 9.41 years), recruited from outpatient cardiology clinics and local papers who underwent magnetic resonance imaging, were administered the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), and completed psychosocial self-report measures. LA diameter was quantified using echocardiogram. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that greater LA size was independently associated with reduced performance on the following RBANS composites: language, delayed memory, and total index (p < 0.05 for all). Hierarchical regression analysis demonstrated no significant association between LA diameter and whole brain volume (p > 0.05). The current study suggests that greater LA size is associated with cognitive dysfunction in older adults and prospective studies are needed to validate these findings and elucidate underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-552
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cognitive function
  • Echocardiogram
  • Left atrial diameter
  • Neuroimaging


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