Atrial Fibrillation Prevalence Higher in Patients With Diabetes

HealthDay News – Within a general population from China, diabetes mellitus (DM) is an independent risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF), with the correlation persisting after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published online January 8 in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

Guozhe Sun, MD, from the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, and colleagues examined the correlation between AF and DM in a cross-sectional study involving 11 956 residents aged 35 years and older from a general Chinese population. Participants completed a questionnaire, had a physical examination, and underwent an echocardiogram and electrocardiogram.

The researchers found that the prevalence of AF was higher in participants with vs those without DM (1.2% vs 0.5%; P=.004). The prevalence of AF was significantly higher in participants with DM vs those without DM in the hypertensive subgroup (1.5% vs 0.6%; P=.008); among the normotensive subgroup, the corresponding prevalences were similar (0.3% vs 0.4%; P=1.000). The trends were similar for men and women. After cardiovascular risk factor adjustment, the independent correlation between DM and AF persisted in the total sample and in the hypertensive subgroup (odds ratios: 2.33 and 3.15, respectively), but not in the normotensive subgroup.

“DM is an independent risk factor for AF in a general population from China, this association is present in total and hypertensive subjects, but not in normotensive ones” the authors wrote.


Sun G, Ma M, Ye N, Wang J,et al. Diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor for atrial fibrillation in a general Chinese population. J Diabetes Investig. 2016. DOI: 10.1111/jdi.12476.