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Five-year Changes in Weight and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Cohort.

BACKGROUND: Obesity is a major risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF). Compared to stable weight, gaining weight was associated with a higher risk of incident AF in observational studies. The results, however, are conflicting regarding weight loss and risk of AF. This study aimed to assess the association between five-year weight changes and risk of incident AF.

METHODS: The study was based on participants from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Body mass index (BMI) was assessed at a baseline examination and at a second examination five years later. Diagnoses of AF and comorbidities were retrieved from the Danish National Patient Registry.

RESULTS: In total, 43,758 participants without prior AF were included. The median age was 61 years and 54% were female. During a median follow-up of 15.7 years, 5,312 individuals had incident AF (incidence rate 8.6/1,000 person-years). Compared to stable weight, weight gain between 2.5 to 5 BMI units (kg/m2) was associated with a higher risk of AF (HR 1.24, 95% CI 1.09-1.41). Weight gain of 5 or more BMI units (kg/m2) was associated with a HR of 1.95 (95% CI 1.48-2.56) of incident AF. However, there was no statistically significant association between weight loss and risk of AF.

CONCLUSIONS: Five-year weight gain was associated with greater risk of AF compared with stable weight in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. There was no statistically significant association between weight loss and risk of AF.

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