Chocolate Intake and Risk of Clinically Apparent Atrial Fibrillation: The Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study

Heart. 2017 Aug;103(15):1163-1167. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2016-310357. Epub 2017 May 23.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the association between chocolate intake and incident clinically apparent atrial fibrillation or flutter (AF).

Methods: The Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study is a large population-based prospective cohort study. The present study is based on 55 502 participants (26 400 men and 29 102 women) aged 50-64 years who had provided information on chocolate intake at baseline. Incident cases of AF were ascertained by linkage with nationwide registries.

Results: During a median of 13.5 years there were 3346 cases of AF. Compared with chocolate intake less than once per month, the rate of AF was lower for people consuming 1-3 servings/month (hazard ratio (HR) 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82 to 0.98), 1 serving/week (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.92), 2-6 servings/week (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.91) and ≥1 servings/day (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.09; p-linear trend <0.0001), with similar results for men and women.

Conclusions: Accumulating evidence indicates that moderate chocolate intake may be inversely associated with AF risk, although residual confounding cannot be ruled out.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Chocolate / adverse effects*
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Diet*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors