Cumulative burden of metabolic syndrome and its components on the risk of atrial fibrillation: a nationwide population-based study

Hyo Jeong Ahn, Kyung Do Han, Eue Keun Choi, Jin Hyung Jung, Soonil Kwon, So Ryoung Lee, Seil Oh, Gregory Y.H. Lip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components are associated with the development of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the impact of time-burden of MetS on the risk of AF is unknown. We investigated the effect of the cumulative longitudinal burden of MetS on the development of AF. Methods: We included 2 885 189 individuals without AF who underwent four annual health examinations during 2009–2013 from the database of the Korean national health insurance service. Metabolic burdens were evaluated in the following three ways: (1) cumulative number of MetS diagnosed at each health examination (0–4 times); (2) cumulative number of each MetS component diagnosed at each health examination (0–4 times per MetS component); and (3) cumulative number of total MetS components diagnosed at each health examination (0 to a maximum of 20). The risk of AF according to the metabolic burden was estimated using Cox proportional-hazards models. Results: Of all individuals, 62.4%, 14.8%, 8.7%, 6.5%, and 7.6% met the MetS diagnostic criteria 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 times, respectively. During a mean follow-up of 5.3 years, the risk of AF showed a positive association with the cumulative number of MetS diagnosed over four health examinations: adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of 1, 2, 3, and 4 times compared to 0 times were 1.18 (1.13–1.24), 1.31 (1.25–1.39), 1.46 (1.38–1.55), and 1.72 (1.63–1.82), respectively; P for trend < 0.001. All five components of MetS, when diagnosed repeatedly, were independently associated with an increased risk of AF: adjusted HR (95% CI) from 1.22 (1.15–1.29) for impaired fasting glucose to 1.96 (1.87–2.07) for elevated blood pressure. As metabolic components were accumulated from 0 to 20 counts, the risk of AF also gradually increased up to 3.1-fold (adjusted HR 3.11, 95% CI 2.52–3.83 in those with 20 cumulative components of MetS), however, recovery from MetS was linked to a decreased risk of AF. Conclusions: Given the positive correlations between the cumulative metabolic burdens and the risk of incident AF, maximal effort to detect and correct metabolic derangements even before MetS development might be important to prevent AF and related cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Metabolic burden
  • Metabolic syndrome

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