Type 2 diabetes mellitus and atrial fibrillation: From mechanisms to clinical practice

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Apr;108(4):269-76. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2015.01.009. Epub 2015 Apr 6.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic conditions and its prevalence has increased continuously over the past decades, primarily due to the obesity epidemic. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequent sustained cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice and is associated with increased cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality. Recent studies have shown that patients with diabetes have an increased risk of AF. However, the results about the relationship between diabetes and AF are still conflicting. Mechanisms that are responsible for an association between diabetes and AF, as well as the adequate treatment of AF in patients with diabetes, are still insufficiently studied. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge of mechanisms that connect AF and diabetes, the clinical studies that include patients with both conditions, and the treatment options in modern pharmacology.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Clinical studies; Fibrillation atriale; Mechanisms; Mécanismes; Traitement; Treatment; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Études cliniques.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / blood
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / therapy
  • Atrial Remodeling*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / physiopathology
  • Heart Conduction System / metabolism
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Heart Conduction System / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents