Association of cardiovascular health and incident atrial fibrillation in elderly population

Jae-Hyuk Lee, Pil-Sung Yang, Hee Tae Yu, Tae-Hoon Kim, Eunsun Jang, Jae-Sun Uhm, Hui-Nam Pak, Moon-Hyoung Lee, Boyoung Joung
Heart 2021 April 2

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether baseline and changes in cardiovascular health (CVH) were related to incident atrial fibrillation (AF) risk in the elderly population.

METHODS: From the Korea National Health Insurance Service-Senior cohort, we included 208 598 participants without prior AF (median age: 70 (IQR 66-74) years; 90 916 (43.6%) men) who underwent national health check-ups between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2012. Using the six metrics of the American Heart Association, participants were categorised as having low, moderate and high CVH.

RESULTS: Over a median follow-up of 7.2 years, 7818 cases of incident AF occurred. In multivariable analysis, moderate (HR: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.86 to 0.94) and high (HR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.73 to 0.91) CVH status at baseline were associated with a lower risk of incident AF. However, in 109 695 participants with changes in CVH between the first and second check-ups, the direction of change in CVH scores showed no consistent association with future AF incidence. In newly diagnosed participants with AF, the incidence of the composite outcome (stroke, major bleeding and all-cause death) decreased with every 1-point increase in the baseline CVH score (HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.89 to 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS: In the general elderly population, better baseline CVH metrics were associated with lower incident AF risk. In participants with newly diagnosed AF, better CVH was also associated with lower incidence of future composite outcomes. However, the direction of change in CVH status within 2 years showed an inconsistent influence on incident AF risk.

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