The latest medical research on Atrial Fibrillation

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about atrial fibrillation gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Associations between the Combined Fat Mass Index and Fat-Free Mass Index with Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in a Japanese Population: The Tohoku Medical Megabank Community-Based Cohort Study.


Although many epidemiological studies have shown that obesity assessed by body mass index is associated with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), few studies have evaluated fat-free mass, which is a component of body composition. We investigated the associations between the combined fat mass index (FMI) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) with cIMT.

We conducted a cross-sectional study of 3,873 men and 9,112 women aged 20 years or older who lived in Miyagi prefecture, Japan. The FMI and FFMI were calculated as fat mass and fat-free mass divided by height squared, respectively. The indices were classified into sex-specific quartiles and were combined into 16 groups. The maximum common carotid artery was measured using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound. An analysis of covariance was used to assess associations between the combined FMI and FFMI with cIMT adjusted for age and smoking status. The linear trend test was conducted by stratifying the FMI and FFMI, scoring the categories from 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest), and entering the number as a continuous term in the regression model.

In multivariable models, a higher FMI was not related to higher cIMT in men and women in most FFMI subgroups. Conversely, a higher FFMI was related to higher cIMT in all FMI subgroups (p<0.001 for linear trend).

FMI was not associated with cIMT in most FFMI subgroups. Conversely, FFMI was positively associated with cIMT independently of FMI.

Validation of the Domestic High Bleeding Risk Criteria for Japanese Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction.


The Academic Research Consortium (ARC) has proposed international criteria to standardize the definition of high bleeding risk (HBR) in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In this context, Japan has also established its own guidelines, that is, the Japanese version of HBR (J-HBR) criteria. However, the J-HBR criteria have not been fully validated, especially in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI).

This bi-center registry included 1079 patients with acute MI undergoing primary PCI in a contemporary setting. Patient bleeding risks were evaluated using the ARC-HBR and J-HBR criteria. The primary endpoint was rates of major bleeding events (Bleeding Academic Research Consortium type 3 or 5) at 1 year.

Of the 1079 patients, 505 (46.8%) and 563 (52.2%) met the ARC-HBR and J-HBR criteria, respectively. Patients who met the J-HBR criteria were found to have a higher rate of major bleeding events at 1 year than those who did not (12.8% vs. 3.3%, p<0.001). When patients were scored and stratified using the J-HBR major and minor criteria, risks of major bleedings were progressively increased with the increase in the number of J-HBR criteria. In the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the ARC-HBR and J-HBR significantly predicted subsequent major bleedings after PCI, with ARC-HBR having greater predictive ability than J-HBR.

More than half of the patients with acute MI undergoing primary PCI in Japan met the J-HBR criteria. Although the J-HBR criteria successfully identified patients who were likely to develop major bleeding events after primary PCI, the superiority of J-HBR to ARC-HBR in predicting bleeding outcomes warrants further investigation.

Efficacy and Safety of Prasugrel vs Clopidogrel in Thrombotic Stroke Patients With Risk Factors for Ischemic Stroke Recurrence: A Double-blind, Phase III Study (PRASTRO-III).


To examine the efficacy and safety of prasugrel vs clopidogrel in thrombotic stroke patients at risk of ischemic stroke.

This multicenter, active-controlled, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel group study enrolled thrombotic stroke patients aged ≥ 50 years at risk of ischemic stroke. Patients received prasugrel (3.75 mg/day) or clopidogrel (75 or 50 mg/day) for 24-48 weeks; other antiplatelet drugs were prohibited. The primary efficacy endpoint was the composite incidence of ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and death from other vascular causes from the start to 1 day after treatment completion or discontinuation. Secondary efficacy endpoints included the incidences of ischemic stroke, MI, death from other vascular causes, ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack, and stroke. Safety endpoints included bleeding events and adverse events (AEs).

In the prasugrel (N=118) and clopidogrel (N=112; all received 75 mg) groups, the primary efficacy endpoint composite incidence (95% confidence interval) was 6.8% (3.0%-12.9%) and 7.1% (3.1%-13.6%), respectively. The risk ratio (prasugrel/clopidogrel) was 0.949 (0.369-2.443). Secondary efficacy endpoints followed a similar trend. The combined incidences of life-threatening, major, and clinically relevant bleeding were 5.0% and 3.5% in the prasugrel and clopidogrel groups, respectively. The incidences of all bleeding events and AEs were 19.2% and 24.6% and 76.7% and 82.5% in the prasugrel and clopidogrel groups, respectively. No serious AEs were causally related to prasugrel.

We observed a risk reduction of 5% with prasugrel vs clopidogrel, indicating comparable efficacy. There were no major safety issues for prasugrel.

Relationships between Age at Menarche and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among Japanese Women: The Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk (JACC) Study.


In this study, we aimed to evaluate the association between age at menarche and risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.

In total, 54,937 women aged 40-79 years old between 1988 and 1990 without a history of cardiovascular disease were eligible for analysis and were followed through December 2009. We used the Cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between age at menarche and risk of cardiovascular disease.

Compared with women with age at menarche of 15 years, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of stroke were 1.22 (0.85-1.75) for women with age at menarche of 9-12 years, 1.08 (0.85-1.36) for those of 13 years, 1.23 (1.02-1.47) for those of 14 years, 1.27 (1.07-1.50) for those of 16 years, 1.16 (0.95-1.41) for those of 17 years, and 1.39(1.16-1.68) for those of 18-20 years (P for trend=0.045). A similar pattern was observed for hemorrhagic stroke, ischemic stroke, and total cardiovascular disease. No such association was found for coronary heart disease. When stratified by age, for women aged 40-59 at baseline, the similar U-shaped association was observed. In contrast, for women aged 60-79 years at baseline, a significantly high hazard ratio was noted in the group of late age at menarche, but not in the group of early age at menarche.

Both women with early and late age at menarche were determined to have higher risk of death from stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Serum High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T as an Independent Predictor for Incident Coronary Heart Disease in the Japanese General Population: The Circulatory Risk in Communities Study (CIRCS).


Epidemiological evidence is extremely limited about high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) and future coronary heart disease (CHD) events for the general population in countries with low mortality from CHD. Therefore, we investigated the association between hs-cTnT levels and the risk of incident CHD using a nested case-control study in a large Japanese cohort study.

The participants were residents of four Japanese communities in the Circulatory Risk in Communities Study (CIRCS). We obtained 120 cases (81 men and 39 women, aged 38-86 years at baseline) of first incident CHD and 240 controls matched by age, sex, communities, and blood sampling term. Serum hs-cTnT levels were measured using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay with stored sera collected between 2001 and 2011. The median period between sampling at survey and CHD incidence was 2.0 (interquartile range, 0.9-3.7) years. After adjusting for conventional risk factors, the multivariable odds ratios (ORs) of CHD were calculated using conditional logistic regression analyses.

hs-cTnT ranged from ≤ 3 (assay detection limit) to 155 ng/L. Compared with the lowest quartile of hs-cTnT, multivariable ORs (95% confidence intervals) of CHD for the second, third, and highest quartiles were 1.30 (0.57-2.95), 2.48 (1.09-5.64), and 3.01 (1.27-7.12), respectively. Similar associations were observed after adjusting for estimated glomerular filtration, or after excluding matched groups, including people with chronic kidney disease.

Serum hs-cTnT could predict CHD in the Japanese general population. These findings implicate a benefit from monitoring hs-cTnT to predict CHD even among populations in countries with low mortality from CHD.

Association between Indoor Temperature in Winter and Serum Cholesterol: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Smart Wellness Housing Survey in Japan.


Issuance of the WHO Housing and health guidelines has paralleled growing interest in the housing environment. Despite accumulating evidence of an association between outdoor temperature and serum cholesterol, indoor temperature has not been well investigated. This study examined the association between indoor temperature and serum cholesterol.

We collected valid health checkup data of 2004 participants (1333 households), measured the indoor temperature for 2 weeks in winter, and divided participants according to whether they lived in a warm (average bedroom temperature ≥ 18℃), slightly cold (12-18℃) or cold house (<12˚C). The relationship between bedroom temperature and serum cholesterol was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models, adjusting for demographics, lifestyle habits and the season in which the health checkup was conducted, with a random effect of climate areas in Japan.

The sample sizes for warm, slightly cold, and cold houses were 206, 940, and 858, respectively. Compared to those in warm houses, the odds ratio of total cholesterol exceeding 220 mg/dL was 1.83 (95%CI: 1.23-2.71, p=0.003) for participants in slightly cold houses and 1.87 (95%CI: 1.25-2.80, p=0.002) in cold houses. Similarly, the odds ratio of LDL/non-HDL cholesterol exceeding the standard range was 1.49 (p=0.056)/1.67 (p=0.035) for those in slightly cold houses and 1.64 (p=0.020)/1.77 (p=0.021) in cold houses. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were not significantly associated with bedroom temperature.

Besides lifestyle modification, improving indoor thermal environment through strategies such as installing high thermal insulation and appropriate use of heating devices may contribute to better serum cholesterol condition.

Longitudinal Associations between Alcohol Intake and Arterial Stiffness, Pressure Wave Reflection, and Inflammation.


This prospective observational study, which utilized repeated annual measurements performed over a 9-year period, applied mixed model analyses to examine age-related differences in longitudinal associations between alcohol intake and arterial stiffness, pressure wave reflection, and inflammation.

In 4016 middle-aged (43±9 years) healthy Japanese male employees, alcohol intake, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), radial augmentation index (rAI), and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured annually during a 9-year study period.

The estimated marginal mean baPWV (non-drinkers=1306 cm/s, mild-moderate drinkers=1311 cm/s, and heavy drinkers=1337 cm/s, P<0.01) and that of rAI showed significant stepped increases in an alcohol dose-dependent manner in the entire cohort, but an increase in rAI was not observed in subjects aged ≥ 50 years. The estimated slope of the annual increase in baPWV, but not rAI, was higher for heavy drinkers than for non-drinkers (slope difference, 1.84; P<0.05), especially for subjects aged <50 years (slope difference, 2.84; P<0.05).

In middle-aged male Japanese employees, alcohol intake may attenuate inflammatory activity. While alcohol intake may exacerbate the progression of arterial stiffening in a dose-dependent manner without mediating inflammation, especially in subjects under 50 years of age, it may promote pressure wave reflection abnormalities with aging at earlier ages without further exacerbation at older ages.

Emergency Angioplasty or Stenting for Stroke Patients with Intracranial Atherosclerotic Large Vessel Occlusion.


Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has become the gold standard for the treatment of large vessel occlusion (LVO) in acute ischemic stroke. However, it remains controversial whether emergency angioplasty or stenting in patients with intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS) should be adopted. Thus, we performed a retrospective analysis of clinical data to determine whether emergency angioplasty or stenting is necessary.

We retrospectively analyzed data from patients undergoing MT with ICAS-related LVO of the acute anterior circulation between 2017 and 2019. Eligible patients were divided into two treatment groups: those who received rescue angioplasty or stenting [Patients treated with rescue angioplasty or stenting (PTAS) group] and those who received thrombectomy alone (non-PTAS group). The primary outcomes were good prognosis at 90 days (mRS: 0-2). Mortality, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, and reocclusion rate were evaluated as secondary outcomes.

A total of 184 patients with severe stenosis after MT were enrolled, including 64 patients receiving rescue angioplasty or stenting and 120 patients without rescue angioplasty or stenting. Compared with the non-PTAS group, a better functional outcome (mRS0-2) (51.6% vs. 35.0%, adjusted odds ratio: 2.11, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.22-4.29; P=0.02), lower 7-day National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [6 (3-12.75) vs. 10 (4-16); P=0.04], lower 24-h neurological deterioration rate (7.8% vs. 21.7%, P=0.02), and lower 24-h reocclusion rate were observed in the PTAS group (6.3% vs. 17.5%, P=0.03). There were no significant differences in mortality or incidence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage.

Emergency angioplasty or stenting could be a safe and feasible therapeutic option with better outcomes for stroke patients with ICAS-related LVO.

Number of Children and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Japanese Women: Findings from the Tohoku Medical Megabank.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the second largest cause of death in Japanese women. Pregnancy and childbirth are events that put a strain on the cardiovascular system. When postpartum weight retention is insufficient, weight gain due to fat deposition during pregnancy might lead to obesity. Thus, we examined the effects of body mass index (BMI) in middle and older ages and the number of children on CVD and metabolic disorders.

From the Tohoku Medical Megabank database, we used data from 32,000 women aged ≥ 50 years. This database contains obstetrical history, medical history, and laboratory data obtained once from 2013 to 2015.

The mean age of participants was 64.2 years, and 47.7% of women had two children. Compared with nulliparous women, those who had a higher number of children had higher BMI and systolic blood pressure. The prevalence of CVD was highest in obese class I (30 kg/m2 ≤ BMI) women with three or more children and the prevalence of hypertension was high in pre-obese (25 kg/m2 ≤ BMI <30 kg/m 2 ) and obese class I women with children. Conversely, the prevalence of diabetes and proportion of women whose HbA1c values were >6.5% was highest in obese class I women with no children.

In this study, we found that not only BMI but also the number of children influenced the health status of middle- and older-aged women, suggesting the importance of childbirth history in the health management of women.

Advancements in the Treatment of Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia.


Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) is a rare genetic disorder with extreme elevations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) l...

Association between Wakeup Frequency at Night and Atherogenic Dyslipidemia: Evidence for Sex Differences.


This study aimed to determine whether sleep disturbance, defined as the wakeup frequency at night, is associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia and to explore possible sex differences.

A total of 1,368 adults aged 19-70 years were included in the study of lifestyles and atherogenic dyslipidemia at the National Taiwan University Hospital in the period of 2008-2012. They completed a questionnaire regarding lifestyle information and sleep quality, including sleep hour duration, use of sleeping pills, and wakeup frequency during nighttime sleep. The measured lipid profiles included total cholesterol, triglycerides, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C and HDL-C, respectively), non-HDL-C, and small dense LDL-C (sdLDL-C). Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine habitual interrupted sleep and the odds ratio of atherogenic dyslipidemia following adjustment for conventional risk factors and for sex-based subgroup analysis.

A wakeup frequency ≥ 3 times per night was independently associated with an increased risk [odds ratio (95% confidence interval)] of dyslipidemia was 1.96 (1.17-3.28), and non-HDL-C ≥ 160 mg/dL was 1.78 (1.09-2.89). A higher wakeup frequency was associated with increased atherogenic dyslipidemia in women than in men. The multivariate adjusted relative risks for non-HDL ≥ 160 mg/dL and cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dL were 3.05 (1.27-7.34) and 4.01(1.29-12.45) for female individuals with insomnia and those with a wakeup frequency ≥ 2 times per night, respectively.

A higher wakeup frequency was associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia in Taiwanese adults, particularly in women. This study also provided another evidence of increasing cardiovascular diseases in subjects with habitual interrupted sleep.

Optimal Cut-off Points of Nonfasting and Fasting Triglycerides for Prediction of Ischemic Heart Disease in Japanese General Population: The Circulatory Risk in Communities Study (CIRCS).


We investigated the optimal cut-off points of nonfasting and fasting triglycerides in Japanese individuals with lower average triglyceride levels than westerners.

Residents aged 40-69 years without a history of ischemic heart disease or stroke were enrolled between 1980 and 1994 and followed. Serum triglyceride concentrations were measured from 10851 nonfasting (<8 h after meal) and 4057 fasting (≥ 8 h) samples. As a prerequisite, we confirmed the shape of a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, the area under ROC curves (AUC), and the integrated time-dependent AUC. We identified optimal cut-off points for incident ischemic heart disease based on C-statistic, Youden index, and Harrell's concordance statistic. We used dichotomized concentrations of triglycerides via the univariate logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression models. We also calculated multivariable hazard ratios and population attributable fractions to evaluate the optimal cut-off points.

Nonfasting and fasting optimal cut-off points were 145 mg/dL and 110 mg/dL, with C-statistic of 0.594 and 0.626, Youden index of 0.187 and 0.252, and Harrell's concordance statistic of 0.590 and 0.630, respectively. The corresponding multivariable hazard ratios of ischemic heart disease were 1.43 (95%CI 1.09-1.88)and 1.69 (1.03-2.77), and the corresponding population attributable fractions were 16.1% (95%CI 3.3-27.2%) and 24.6 (-0.3-43.3).

The optimal cut-off points of nonfasting and fasting triglycerides in the Japanese general population were 145 mg/dL and 110 mg/dL, respectively, lower than the current cut-off points recommended in the US and Europe.