Relation between cancer and atrial fibrillation (from the reasons for geographic and racial differences in stroke study)

Academic Article


  • Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common in patients with life-threatening cancer and those undergoing active cancer treatment. However, data from subjects with a history of none - life-threatening cancer and those who do not require active cancer treatment are lacking. A total of 15,428 (mean age 66 ± 8.9 years; 47% women; 45% blacks) participants from the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study with baseline data on previous cancer diagnosis and AF were included. Participants with life-threatening cancer and active cancer treatment within 2 years of study enrollment were excluded. History of cancer was identified using computer-assisted telephone interviews. AF cases were identified from baseline electrocardiogram data and by a self-reported history of a previous diagnosis. Logistic regression was used to examine the cross-sectional association between cancer diagnosis and AF. A total of 2,248 (15%) participants had a diagnosis of cancer and 1,295 (8.4%) had AF. In a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, race, education, income, and region of residence) and cardiovascular risk factors (systolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, C-reactive protein, body mass index, smoking, diabetes, antihypertensive and lipid-lowering agents, left ventricular hypertrophy, and cardiovascular disease), those with cancer were more likely to have prevalent AF than those without cancer (odds ratio 1.19, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.38). Subgroup analyses by age, sex, race, cardiovascular disease, and C-reactive protein yielded similar results. In conclusion, AF was more prevalent in participants with a history of none - life-threatening cancer and those who did not require active cancer treatment in REGARDS.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21752879
  • Author List

  • O'Neal WT; Lakoski SG; Qureshi W; Judd SE; Howard G; Howard VJ; Cushman M; Soliman EZ
  • Start Page

  • 1090
  • End Page

  • 1094
  • Volume

  • 115
  • Issue

  • 8