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.
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