Left Atrial Volumes and Function, and Long-Term Incidence of Ischemic Stroke in the General Population

Bjørn Strøier Larsen*, Flemming Javier Olsen, Ditte Madsen Andersen, Christoffer Valdorff Madsen, Rasmus Møgelvang, Gorm Boje Jensen, Peter Schnohr, Mark Aplin, Nis Baun Høst, Hanne Christensen, Ahmad Sajadieh, Tor Biering-Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


Background Left atrial (LA) volumes and emptying fraction in the general population may address structural and functional aspects of atrial cardiomyopathy associated with long-term risk of ischemic stroke in the absence of atrial fibrillation or prior stroke. We investigated the association between LA volumes and function and ischemic stroke. Methods and Results In a community-based cohort, we measured LA minimal volume, LA maximal volume, and LA emptying fraction by transthoracic echocardiography. The primary end point was ischemic stroke. Participants with known atrial fibrillation or prior ischemic stroke were excluded, which resulted in 1866 participants. The mean age was 58±16 years, and 57% were women. During a median follow-up of 16.5 years (interquartile range: 11.4-16.8 years), 176 (9.4%) ischemic strokes occurred. In multivariable cause-specific regression models and competing risk models with death as a competing risk, LA emptying fraction was associated with ischemic stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 1.14 per 10% decrease [95% CI, 1.02-1.28]) and (subdistribution HR, 1.14 [95% CI, 1.01-1.29]). This association remained when adjusting for participants who developed atrial fibrillation during follow-up (HR, 1.12 per 10% decrease [95% CI, 1.00-1.26]). Indexed LA volumes were not associated with ischemic stroke in the same models. LA emptying fraction and indexed LA volumes were not associated with all-cause mortality. Conclusions Lower LA emptying fraction measured by transthoracic echocardiography was associated with future ischemic stroke independently of incident atrial fibrillation. Registration URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT02993172.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere027031
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)e027031
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2022


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation/complications
  • Atrial Function, Left
  • Female
  • Heart Atria/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ischemic Stroke
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • echocardiography
  • epidemiology
  • left atrium
  • ischemic stroke


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