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Eur Heart J. 2010 Jul;31(14):1730-6. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq146. Epub 2010 May 25.

A multimarker approach to assess the influence of inflammation on the incidence of atrial fibrillation in women.

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Center for Arrhythmia Prevention Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



To assess the joint influence of inflammatory biomarkers on the risk of incident atrial fibrillation (AF) in women.


We performed a prospective cohort study among women participating in the Women's Health Study. All women were free of AF at study entry and provided a baseline blood sample assayed for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and fibrinogen. To evaluate the joint effect of these three biomarkers, an inflammation score was created that ranged from 0 to 3 and reflected the number of biomarkers in the highest tertile per individual. During a median follow-up of 14.4 years, 747 of 24,734 women (3.0%) experienced a first AF event. Assessed individually, all three biomarkers were associated with incident AF, even after adjustment for traditional risk factors. When combined into an inflammation score, a strong and independent relationship between inflammation and incident AF emerged. Across increasing inflammation score categories, there were 1.66, 2.22, 2.73, and 3.25 AF events per 1000 person-years of follow-up. The corresponding hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) across inflammation score categories were 1.0, 1.22 (1.00-1.49), 1.32 (1.06-1.65), and 1.59 (1.22-2.06) (P for linear trend 0.0006) after multivariable adjustment.


In this large-scale prospective study among women without a history of cardiovascular disease, markers of systemic inflammation were significantly related to AF even after controlling for traditional risk factors.

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