Cancer antigen-125 plasma level as a biomarker of new-onset atrial fibrillation in postmenopausal women

Heart. 2017 Sep;103(17):1368-1373. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2016-310272. Epub 2017 Mar 11.


Objective: Plasma cancer antigen (CA)-125 is a tumour marker recently shown to be associated with systolic heart failure and new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) after myocardial infarction. However, no reports have described the relationship between CA-125 and new-onset AF in healthy postmenopausal women. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between CA-125 and new-onset AF in postmenopausal women.

Methods: Between 2005 and 2015, 2086 women, including 1012 postmenopausal women, visited our hospital for annual health check-ups. We excluded patients with systolic dysfunction, chronic inflammatory disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, histories of AF or neoplastic diseases. A total of 746 postmenopausal women underwent thorough physical examinations, including those for biomarkers such as brain natriuretic peptide, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and CA-125.

Results: During the 10-year observation period, AF was documented in 31 participants (4.2%). The mean age of participants developing AF (75±6 years) was higher than that of those without AF (68±8 years). Participants developing AF showed significantly higher CA-125 (11.4±6.3 U/mL) and hs-CRP (0.10±0.11 mg/dL) levels than did those without AF (7.7±3.2 U/mL, p<0.01; 0.07±0.08 mg/dL, p<0.05). Cox regression analyses revealed ageing (HR 1.3; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.57; p<0.01) and plasma CA-125 levels (HR 1.29; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.51; p=0.02) as independent predictors of AF.

Conclusions: High CA-125 levels might be associated with new-onset AF in healthy postmenopausal women.

Keywords: Atrial Fibrillation; Epidemiology; Inflammatory markers.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / blood*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • CA-125 Antigen / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications*
  • Postmenopause*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • CA-125 Antigen