Although several studies demonstrated that the presence of significant mitral regurgitation was associated with reduced occurrence of thromboembolism, little data is available concerning the effect of mild mitral regurgitation on the occurrence of thromboembolic events. To evaluate the association between mild mitral regurgitation and thromboembolic events, we reviewed 232 patients' records between January 1996 and September 1997 who had nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation. There were 59 patients (25%) with mitral regurgitation > or = grade 2, 69 patients (30%) with grade 1 mitral regurgitation, and 104 patients (45%) with no mitral regurgitation. Patients with grade 1 mitral regurgitation had significantly higher prevalence of thromboembolic events (28%) than those with mitral regurgitation > or = grade 2 (8%, P=0.006) or those with no mitral regurgitation (11%, P=0.007). A history of previous thromboembolic events were compared between 173 patients with grade 1 mitral regurgitation and those with no mitral regurgitation using the logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, administration of warfarin, and presence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, structural heart disease, enlarged left atrium (> or = 40 mm), chronic atrial fibrillation, and grade 1 mitral regurgitation. Grade 1 mitral regurgitation (odds ratio=2.689, 95% confidence interval=1.039-7.189, P=0.0434) and no warfarin administration (odds ratio=0.045, 95% confidence interval=0.002-0.242, P=0.0036) were significantly associated with the history of thromboembolic events. The presence of mild mitral regurgitation in nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation was associated with higher prevalence of thromboembolic events.