Electrocardiographic Advanced Interatrial Block and Atrial Fibrillation Risk in the General Population

Wesley T. O'Neal, Zhu Ming Zhang, Laura R. Loehr, Lin Y. Chen, Alvaro Alonso, Elsayed Z. Soliman

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70 Scopus citations


Although advanced interatrial block (aIAB) is an established electrocardiographic phenotype, its prevalence, incidence, and prognostic significance in the general population are unclear. We examined the prevalence, incidence, and prognostic significance of aIAB in 14,625 (mean age = 54 ± 5.8 years; 26% black; 55% female) participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. aIAB was detected from digital electrocardiograms recorded during 4 study visits (1987 to 1989, 1990 to 1992, 1993 to 1995, and 1996 to 1998). Risk factors for the development of aIAB were examined using multivariable Poisson regression models with robust variance estimates. Cox regression was used to compute hazard ratios and 95% CIs for the association between aIAB, as a time-dependent variable, and atrial fibrillation (AF). AF was ascertained from study electrocardiogram data, hospital discharge records, and death certificates thorough 2010. A total of 69 participants (0.5%) had aIAB at baseline, and 193 (1.3%) developed aIAB during follow-up. The incidence for aIAB was 2.27 (95% CI 1.97 to 2.61) per 1,000 person-years. Risk factors for aIAB development included age, male gender, white race, antihypertensive medication use, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, and systolic blood pressure. In a Cox regression analysis adjusted for sociodemographics, cardiovascular risk factors, and potential confounders, aIAB was associated with an increased risk for AF (hazard ratio 3.09, 95% CI 2.51 to 3.79). In conclusion, aIAB is not uncommon in the general population. Risk factors for developing aIAB are similar to those for AF, and the presence of aIAB is associated with an increased risk for AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1755-1759
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study is carried out as a collaborative study supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland contracts ( HHSN268201100005 C, HHSN268201100006 C, HHSN268201100007 C, HHSN268201100008 C, HHSN268201100009 C, HHSN268201100010 C, HHSN268201100011 C, and HHSN268201100012 C ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


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