The relationship between stature and the prevalence of atrial fibrillation in patients with left ventricular dysfunction

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Apr 18;47(8):1683-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2005.11.068. Epub 2006 Mar 29.


Objectives: This study sought to determine the influence of stature on atrial fibrillation (AF) in high-risk patients with reduced left ventricular (LV) systolic function.

Background: Left atrial (LA) enlargement is a potent risk factor for AF. Because LA size is strongly associated with stature, we hypothesized that height and body surface area (BSA) are risk factors for AF, independent of other known associations.

Methods: Data were obtained from ADVANCENT, a multicenter registry of patients with impaired LV function. Height and BSA were divided into quartiles by gender. Statistical analysis was done using the Cochran Mantel-Haenszel statistic, and multivariable logistic regressions were used to adjust for the effects of known confounders on the association between stature and AF.

Results: A total of 25,268 patients were enrolled. The mean age was 66 years, and the cohort consisted mostly of white men (72%) and patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (72%). The mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 31%. A history of AF was present in 7,027 patients (27.8%). The AF prevalence increased significantly between the lowest and highest quartiles for height (32% relative increase, p < 0.0001). In the multivariable analysis, the effect of height on AF risk persisted after adjusting for age, gender, race, left ventricular ejection fraction, heart failure class and etiology, hypertension, diabetes, and medication use (odds ratio 1.026/cm, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.022 to 1.030). In the multivariable analysis, BSA was also an independent predictor of AF risk (odds ratio 4.221/m2, 95% CI 3.358 to 5.306).

Conclusions: In patients with LV dysfunction, increasing stature portends a higher risk of AF independent of other traditional risk factors for the arrhythmia. This association seems to account for the higher prevalence of AF in men and may be useful for identification of a high-risk population.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology*
  • Body Height*
  • Body Surface Area
  • Cohort Studies
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / complications*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / pathology*