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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Association Between Heart Rate at Rest and Incident Atrial Fibrillation (from the Copenhagen Electrocardiographic Study)

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Heart rate (HR) at rest is a well-known marker of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Results on the association between HR and incident atrial fibrillation (AF) have, however, been conflicting. Using digital electrocardiograms from 281,451 primary care patients, we aimed to describe the association between HR at rest and the hazards of incident AF. Secondary end points were death from all causes and pacemaker implantation. Data on drug use, co-morbidity, and outcomes were collected from nationwide administrative health care registries. During a median follow-up time of 8.4 years, 15,666 subjects were observed to develop AF, of which 1,631 were lone AF. A HR at rest from 30 to 51 beats/min was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.16 (95% CI 1.06 to 1.27) for AF compared with the reference group (66 to 72 beats/min). From 72 beats/min and upward, the hazard ratio of AF increased in a dose-response manner, reaching an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.36 (95% CI 1.26 to 1.46) for HR between 95 and 120 beats/min. Both for low and high HR, the associations were accentuated for the outcome lone AF (adjusted hazard ratios of 1.48, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.84 and 1.84, 95% CI 1.47 to 2.30 for HR between 30 to 51 and 95 to 120 beats/min, respectively). For death from all causes, the hazard increased almost linearly with increasing HR. A HR at rest from 30 to 51 beats/min was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.80 (95% CI 1.46 to 2.21) for pacemaker implantation. In conclusion, a U-shaped association was found between HR at rest and incident AF, and this association was strongest for the outcome lone AF.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Volume118
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)708-13
Number of pages6
ISSN0002-9149
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 49126377