Image_1_Hypertension and Atrial Fibrillation: A Study on Epidemiology and Mendelian Randomization Causality.jpg
Introduction: Hypertension (HT) and atrial fibrillation (AF) often coexist. However, the causality between these two conditions remains to be determined.
Methods: We used individual participant data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) prospective cohort with 9,474 participants. HT was ascertained at visit 1 (1987–1989), and incident AF was identified by ECGs conducted during study examinations at each visit, hospital discharge codes, and death certificates. We used the Kaplan–Meier estimate to compute the cumulative incidence of AF by the HT subgroup. Then we used Cox hazard regression model to assess the association between HT and incident AF. The causality between genetically determined HT and AF was analyzed by the two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) based on publicly summarized genome-wide association studies (GWASs) data.
Results: A total of 1,414 cases (14.9%) of AF were identified during the follow-up period (median 24.1 years). After adjusting for all covariates, the hazard ratio between the participants with HT and incident AF was 1.50 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29–1.73]. In the HT → AF MR analysis, we detected a causal correlation between HT and AF (OR: 1.90, 95% CI 1.18–3.04, P = 0.01) with no evidence of heterogeneity from single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Besides, the genetically determined SBP and DBP (10 mmHg) were consistently associated with a higher risk of AF.
Conclusions: In the ARIC study, the incident AF increased by 50% in patients with HT. In the MR analysis, our results supported causal inference between HT and AF.