Nut Consumption Associated With Reduced Risk for Atrial Fibrillation

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Consuming nuts may reduce the risk for afib, heart failure, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Consuming nuts may reduce the risk for afib, heart failure, and other cardiovascular diseases.

HealthDay News — Nut consumption is associated with reduced risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published online April 16 in Heart.

Susanna C. Larsson, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a prospective study involving 61,364 Swedish adults who completed a food frequency questionnaire and were followed for 17 years.

In the age- and sex-adjusted analyses, the researchers identified an inverse association for nut consumption with the risk of myocardial infarction, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and abdominal aortic aneurysm. 

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These correlations were attenuated after adjustment for multiple risk factors; only a linear dose-response correlation with atrial fibrillation and a non-linear correlation with heart failure persisted. For atrial fibrillation, the multivariable hazard ratios for nut consumption were 0.97 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.93 to 1.02) for one to three times/month, 0.88 (95 percent CI, 0.79 to 0.99) for one to two times per week, and 0.82 (95 percent CI, 0.68 to 0.99) for three or more times per week, compared with no consumption of nuts. The corresponding hazard ratios were 0.87 (95 percent CI, 0.80 to 0.94), 0.80 (95 percent CI, 0.67 to 0.97), and 0.98 (95 percent CI, 0.76 to 1.27) for heart failure.

"These findings suggest that nut consumption or factors associated with this nutritional behavior may play a role in reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation and possibly heart failure," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Biosense Webster.

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