American College of Cardiology

American College of Cardiology

Perspective from Gregory M. Marcus, MD, MAS
March 21, 2019
2 min read
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Atrial fibrillation more likely with low-carb diet

Perspective from Gregory M. Marcus, MD, MAS
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Xiaodong Zhuang
Xiaodong Zhuang

NEW ORLEANS — A diet low in carbohydrates may lead to a greater risk for atrial fibrillation, according to findings presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.

Xiaodong Zhuang, MD, PhD, a cardiologist at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues sought to identify the association between carbohydrate intake proportion and the risk for incident AF in the ARIC study.

“Our team has conducted long-term epidemiological, clinical and basic research on cardiovascular disease. The relationship between diet and cardiovascular disease is one of our research directions, which has important clinical guiding significance,” Zhuang told Cardiology Today.

The researchers confirmed AF from ECG, hospital discharge codes and death certificates.

Zhuang and colleagues analyzed 13,852 participants (mean age, 54 years; 45% men). Mean carbohydrate intake proportion was 48.8%.

During a median follow-up of 22 years, 1,892 cases of AF occurred, the researchers wrote.

Zhuang and colleagues found that compared with the lowest tertile of carbohydrate intake, the second tertile (HR = 0.82; 95 CI%, 0.73-0.93) and the third tertile (HR = 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71-0.99) had reduced risk for incident AF.

The researchers identified a U-shaped relationship between carbohydrate intake and risk for AF incidence (P < .005) in spline regression, with the lowest observed risk associated with carbohydrate intake proportion of 39% to 61%.

A diet low in carbohydrates may lead to a greater risk for atrial fibrillation, according to findings presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session.
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Low-carbohydrate diets were associated with increased risk of AF, regardless of the replacement type of protein or fat,” Zhuang said in an interview. “Our findings suggested that this popular weight control method by restricting carbohydrate intake should be recommended cautiously.” – by Earl Holland Jr.

Reference:

Zhuang X, et al. Abstract 1123-310. Presented at: American College of Cardiology Scientific Session; March 16-18, 2019; New Orleans.

Disclosure: Zhuang reports no relevant financial disclosures.