Atrial Fibrillation and Risk of ST-Segment Elevation versus Non-ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study
Background—It has recently been reported that atrial fibrillation [AF] is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction [MI]. However, the mechanism underlying this association is currently unknown. Further study of the relationship of AF with type of MI [ST elevation MI (STEMI) vs. non-ST elevation MI [NSTEMI] might shed light on the potential mechanisms.
Methods and Results—We examined the association between AF and incident MI in 14,462 participants [mean age 54 years, 56% women, 26% African Americans] from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study who were free of coronary heart disease at baseline [1987-1989] with follow-up through December 31, 2010. AF cases were identified from study visits electrocardiogram and by review of hospital discharge records. Incident MI and its types were ascertained by an independent adjudication committee. Over a median follow up of 21.6 years, 1374 MI events occurred [829 NSTEMI, 249 STEMI, 296 unclassifiable]. In a multivariable adjusted model, AF [n=1545] as a time-varying variable was associated with a 63% increased risk of MI [HR (95% CI):1.63(1.32-2.02)]. However, AF was associated with NSTEMI [HR (95% CI): 1.80(1.39-2.31)] but not STEMI [HR (95% CI): 0.49(0.18-1.34)]; p-value for hazard ratios comparison=0.004. Combining the unclassifiable MI group with either STEMI or NSTEMI did not change this conclusion. The association between AF and MI, total and NSTEMI, was stronger in women than in men [interaction p-value<0.01 for both].
Conclusions—AF is associated with an increased risk of incident MI, especially in women. However, this association is limited to NSTEMI.
- Received November 5, 2014.
- Revision received March 13, 2015.
- Accepted March 19, 2015.