Cardiovascular disease and dementia are common in the elderly and are major causes of disability in the general population. The public health burden of dementia is projected to increase as life expectancy increases in the United States and elsewhere. Epidemiological studies suggest that these once believed unrelated conditions, heart disease and dementia, may be linked by shared common risks and pathogenic elements. These observations have sparked the notion that prevention or modification of certain vascular risk factors and proper management of cardiovascular disease may prevent the development or progression of dementia including Alzheimer's disease. In this article, the authors discuss the association between cognitive impairment and atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and cardiovascular procedures.