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Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 14;7:42613. doi: 10.1038/srep42613.

Psychological stress and risk of incident atrial fibrillation in men and women with known atrial fibrillation genetic risk scores.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, SE 205 02 Malmö, Sweden.
Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 Japan.
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.
Department of Cardiology, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.
Department of Internal Medicine, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.


Psychological stress has been reported as a possible trigger of atrial fibrillation (AF). No studies have investigated whether any association between stress and AF could be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF (AF-genetic risk score (AF-GRS)). 8765 men and 13,543 women from the Malmö Diet Cancer Study, a population-based cohort, were included in the analyses. A variable representing stress was constructed from questions measuring job strain, and from one question assessing non-occupational stress. Cox proportional hazards regression models were adjusted for known covariates of AF. Mean follow-up times and number of recorded incident AF were 14.2 years and 1116 events for men, and 15.1 years and 932 events for women. Among women, high stress was associated with AF in the age adjusted model (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.47) but not following multivariable adjustment (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.95-1.39). Stress was not associated with incident AF in men. AF-GRS was significantly associated with incident AF for both genders. Stress did not interact significantly with genetic susceptibility to AF in men or women. Chronic stress is not associated with long-term incident hospital diagnosed AF. This association does not appear to be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF.

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