Few if any studies have assessed the relationship between birth weight and incident atrial fibrillation (AF).
Methods and Results—
From 1993 to 2009, we prospectively followed 27 982 women who were >45 years of age and free of cardiovascular disease and AF at baseline. Information on birth weight was categorized into 5 different categories: <2.5, 2.5 to 3.2, 3.2 to 3.9, 3.9 to 4.5, and >4.5 kg. The primary outcome was time to incident AF. During 14.5 years of follow-up, 735 AF events occurred. Age-adjusted incidence rates for incident AF from the lowest to the highest birth weight category were 1.45, 1.82, 1.88, 2.57, and 2.55 events per 1000 person-years of follow-up. After multivariable adjustment, hazard ratios for incident AF across increasing birth weight categories were 1.0, 1.30 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96 to 1.75), 1.28 (95% CI, 0.96 to 1.69), 1.70 (95% CI, 1.23 to 2.37), and 1.71 (95% CI, 1.12 to 2.61) (
for linear trend=0.002). Adding body mass index, blood pressure, and diabetes mellitus at study entry did not have a large effect on these estimates (
for linear trend=0.004). In contrast, including height in the multivariable model substantially attenuated the relationship between birth weight and AF (
for linear trend=0.17), and additional adjustment for maximum weight in young adulthood further attenuated this association (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio across birth weight categories, 1.0, 1.27 [95% CI, 0.94 to 1.71], 1.10 [95% CI, 0.83 to 1.46], 1.41 [95% CI, 1.01 to 1.96], and 1.29 [95% CI, 0.84 to 1.98];
for linear trend=0.23).
Birth weight is significantly associated with incident AF among women, suggesting that early life determinants may play an important role in the pathogenesis of AF.
Clinical Trial Registration—
URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00000479.