E. DIETARYHeart Disease

Dietary factors and the risk of atrial fibrillation

Researchers in Boston tell us there are conflicting reports about an association between dietary factors and the risk of atrial fibrillation — the most common type of irregular heartbeat found in about 2.2 million Americans.

They evaluated the potential associations between atrial fibrillation and several dietary factors.

First, the details.

  • 4526 adults without atrial fibrillation completed food-frequency questionnaires and were followed over 4 years.

And, the results.

  • 296 people developed atrial fibrillation.
  • There were no significant associations between the following dietary exposures and atrial fibrillation risk.
    • Alcohol
    • Caffeine
    • Total fiber
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Consumption of greater than 4 servings of dark fish per week was significantly associated with atrial fibrillation risk compared to eating less than 1 serving per week.
    • Examples of dark fish include tuna, salmon, swordfish, snapper, mackerel, and shark.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Dietary exposures examined convey limited attributable risk of atrial fibrillation in the general population.”

However, they add, “The observed adverse association between the consumption of dark fish and atrial fibrillation merits further investigation.”

11/26/10 20:53 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.