Association of serum uric acid with incident atrial fibrillation (from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities [ARIC] study)

Am J Cardiol. 2011 Nov 1;108(9):1272-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.06.043. Epub 2011 Aug 17.


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common arrhythmias seen in clinical practice. Current evidence suggests that serum uric acid (SUA) could be a marker of oxidative damage, a factor reported as a part of the mechanisms of AF. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate whether SUA predicted AF in the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) study. The present analysis included 15,382 AF-free black and white men and women, aged 45 to 64 years, from the ARIC study, a population-based prospective cohort in the United States. SUA was determined using the uricase-peroxidase method at baseline. The primary outcome was the incidence of AF, defined as the occurrence of AF detected using hospital discharge codes, scheduled study electrocardiograms, and/or death certificates during the follow-up period (1987 to 2004). We identified 1,085 cases of incident AF. In Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for age, gender, race, center, education, body mass index, serum glucose, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, alcohol use, prevalent coronary heart disease and heart failure, serum creatinine, diuretics, and P-wave duration on the electrocardiogram (as a measure of left atrial size) at baseline, the hazard ratio of AF associated with a SD increment in SUA was 1.16 (95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.26). The association of SUA with AF risk differed by race and gender (p for interaction <0.01). In conclusion, elevated SUA is associated with a greater risk of AF, particularly among blacks and women. Additional studies should replicate this association and explore potential mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Black People
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uric Acid / blood*
  • White People


  • Uric Acid