By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Cardiovascular health

Z Zhang et al, 2024. Associations of 50 modifiable risk factors with atrial fibrillation using Mendelian randomization analysis, European Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Associations of 50 modifiable risk factors with atrial fibrillation using Mendelian randomization analysis

Z Zhang
European Journal of Clinical Investigation
March 5, 2024


Substantial focus has been placed on atrial fibrillation (AF) treatment and associated stroke prevention rather than preventing AF itself. We employed Mendelian randomization (MR) approach to examine the causal relationships between 50 modifiable risk factors (RFs) and AF.

Instrumental variables for genetically predicted exposures were derived from corresponding genome-wide association studies (GWASs). Summary-level statistical data for AF were obtained from a GWAS meta-analysis (discovery dataset, N = 1,030,836) and FinnGen (validation dataset, N = 208,594). Univariable and multivariable MR analyses were performed, primarily using inverse variance weighted method with a series of robust sensitivity analyses.

Genetic predisposition to insomnia, daytime naps, apnea, smoking initiation, moderate to vigorous physical activity and obesity traits, including body mass index, waist-hip ratio, central and peripheral fat/fat-free mass, exhibited significant associations with an increased risk of AF. Coffee consumption and ApoB had suggestive increased risks. Hypertension (odds ratio (OR) 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.26 (4.42, 6.24)), heart failure (HF) (OR 95% CI, 4.77 (2.43, 9.37)) and coronary artery disease (CAD) (OR 95% CI: 1.20 (1.16, 1.24)) were strongly associated with AF, while college degree, higher education attachment and HDL levels were associated with a decreased AF risk. Reverse MR found a bidirectional relationship between genetically predicted AF and CAD, HF and ischemic stroke. Multivariable analysis further indicated that obesity-related traits, systolic blood pressure and lower HDL levels independently contributed to the development of AF.

This study identified several lifestyles and cardiometabolic factors that might be causally related to AF, underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to AF management and prevention.

More research

All research