Abstract 1570: Pericardial Fat is Associated With Prevalent AF - The Framingham Heart Study
Background: Obesity represents an important risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF). Pericardial fat, a unique fat deposit in proximity to cardiac structures and autonomic cardiac fibers, could locally influence the risk of AF. We sought to evaluate the association between pericardial fat and prevalent AF.
Methods: Participants from the Framingham Heart Study (n=3217, mean age 50.4 years, 48.8% women) underwent multidetector computed tomography from 2002–2005. Participants with coronary bypass surgery were excluded. Pericardial, intrathoracic and visceral adipose tissue volumes were quantified. We estimated the association between these three regional adipose tissue volumes (per standard deviation [SD] of volume) with prevalent AF adjusting for established AF risk factors (age, sex, body mass index [BMI], systolic blood pressure, blood pressure treatment, PR interval and clinically significant valvular disease). Pericardial and intrathoracic adipose tissue volumes were also simultaneously forced into an adjusted model to determine the respective contributions of each of these fat deposits.
Results: Of the 3217 eligible participants, 54 had a confirmed diagnosis of prevalent AF. Pericardial fat, but not intrathoracic or visceral abdominal fat, was associated with prevalent AF in multivariable-adjusted models (adjusted odds ratio [adj OR] per SD of pericardial fat volume 1.28, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.03–1.58). Adjustment for BMI did not change the association between pericardial fat and AF (adj OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.01–1.63). Further adjustments for intrathoracic fat did not affect the association between pericardial fat and AF (adj OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.02–1.85).
Conclusions: Pericardial fat, but not intrathoracic or visceral abdominal fat, is associated with prevalent AF even after adjustments for established AF risk factors and BMI. Our cross-sectional findings are consistent with the hypothesis of a local effect of pericardial fat on AF.