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High prevalence of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter in metabolic syndrome.

BACKGROUND: Because metabolic syndrome is associated with cardiovascular diseases, its association with the risk of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) and/or atrial flutter (PAFL) was examined in the present study.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A prospective analysis was performed in 592 consecutive hospitalized patients without obvious structural heart diseases. Sinus rhythm was confirmed by electrocardiography in all patients. PAF/PAFL occurred in 32 (5%) and metabolic syndrome was present in 127 (21%) of the patients enrolled. PAF/PAFL occurred in 12 (9%) of the patients with metabolic syndrome, but only 20 (4%) of patients without metabolic syndrome (p=0.02). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that metabolic syndrome was a significant risk factor for PAF/PAFL that was independent of left atrial diameter (> 44 mm) or age (> 70 years) (odds ratio (OR) 2.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-6.2, p<0.01). Among the 5 components of the metabolic syndrome, body mass index > or = 25 kg/m2 was the most strongly associated with PAF/PAFL (OR; 3.0, 95% CI 1.2-7.4, p=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: Metabolic syndrome is highly associated with PAF/PAFL in patients without structural heart diseases and obesity may be an underlying mechanism for the higher prevalence.

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