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Int J Med Sci. 2011;8(7):514-22. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Impairment of pulmonary function is an independent risk factor for atrial fibrillation: the Takahata study.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Nephrology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata, Japan.



Chronic pulmonary disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and fibrosing lung diseases, and atrial fibrillation (AF), are prevalent in elderly people. The impact of cardiac co-morbidities in the elderly, where pulmonary function is impaired, cannot be ignored as they influence mortality. The relationship between the prevalence of AF and pulmonary function is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate this relationship in participants in a health check.


Subjects aged 40 or older (n = 2,917) who participated in a community-based annual health check in Takahata, Japan, from 2004 through to 2005, were enrolled in the study. We performed blood pressure measurements, blood sampling, electrocardiograms, and spirometry on these subjects.


The mean FEV(1) % predicted and FVC % predicted in AF subjects was significantly lower than in non-AF subjects. The prevalence of AF was higher in those subjects with airflow limitation or lung restriction than in those without. Furthermore, AF prevalence was higher in those subjects with severe airflow obstruction (FEV(1) %predicted < 50) than in those who had mild or moderate airflow obstruction (FEV(1) %predicted ≥ 50), although there was no difference between the prevalence of AF in subjects with 70≤ FVC %predicted <80 lung restriction and those with FVC %predicted <70. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that FEV(1) %predicted and FVC %predicted are independent risk factors for AF (independent of age, gender, left ventricular hypertrophy, and serum levels of B-type natriuretic peptide).


Impaired pulmonary function is an independent risk factor for AF in the Japanese general population.


atrial fibrillation; general population; pulmonary function

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