Sustained pre-hypertensive blood pressure and incident atrial fibrillation: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Wesley T. O'Neal, Elsayed Z. Soliman, Waqas Qureshi, Alvaro Alonso, Susan R. Heckbert, David Herrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The association between sustained pre-hypertension and atrial fibrillation (AF) has not been thoroughly examined. This study included 5311 participants (mean age 62 ± 10 years; 47% male; 42.9% non-whites) from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Sustained exposure was based on 2 or more visits within the same blood pressure category (optimal, <120/80 mm Hg; pre-hypertension, 120-139/80-89 mm Hg; hypertension, ≥140/90 mm Hg or antihypertensive medication use) during visits 1, 2, and 3. Cox regression was used to compute hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between blood pressure category and AF. Over a median follow-up of 5.3 years, 182 (3.4%) participants developed AF. Pre-hypertension and hypertension were associated with an increased risk of AF compared with participants who had optimal blood pressure (optimal: HR, 1.0; referent; pre-hypertension: HR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.004-3.2; hypertension: HR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.6-4.4). Sustained pre-hypertension is associated with an increased risk of AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by contracts N01-HC-95159 through N01-HC-95169 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and by grants UL1-RR-024156 and UL1-RR-025005 from NCRR .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society of Hypertension.


  • Arrhythmia
  • epidemiology
  • hypertension
  • risk factors


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