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COVID-19 and Atrial Fibrillation Are Not Linked, Study Finds

According to a study, patients with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including those who are genetically predisposed to the condition, have no higher risk of acquiring atrial fibrillation (AF), and vice versa.

COVID19 and Atrial Fibrillation Are Not Linked, Study Finds
Image: Human Heart Anatomy | InStyleHealth

The bidirectional causal relationships between COVID-19 and AF were investigated using a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) study.

The most recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) data from the COVID-19 host genetics effort in the UK Biobank cohort were used to generate summary genetic association estimates for COVID-19 risk. The following are the four phenotypes that were studied: (1) COVID-19 (n=38,984) vs. population (n=1,644,784), (2) hospitalized COVID-19 (n=3,159) vs. not hospitalized COVID-19 (n=7,206), (3) hospitalized COVID-19 (n=9,986) vs. population (n=1,877,672), and (4) very severe respiratory confirmed COVID-19 (n=5,101) vs. population (n=1,383,241).

GWAS data for AF were gathered from 31 studies involving 18,398 patients and 91,536 controls. The individuals were mostly of European heritage.

The findings revealed no link between genetically predicted severe COVID-19 and the incidence of AF (odds ratio [OR] 1.111, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.971–1.272; p=0.127). Similarly, there was no association between genetically predicted AF and severe COVID-19 (OR, 1.016, 95 percent CI, 0.976–1.058; p=0.430). The same was true for COVID-19 and AF who were both hospitalized.

MR-Egger regression revealed no evidence of directional pleiotropy.


Source: Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2021;doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2021.11.010

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