Lifestyle behaviors in young adults tied to AFib risk

Multiple risk factors can increase a young adult's risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib), according to a new study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

The authors explored data from 286,876 individuals without a prior history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) from the JMDC health claims database. All patients were between the ages of 20 and 39 years old, and 54% of the cohort was male.

The group also examined 1,616,314 individuals with health check-up data at baseline from the same database.

The authors found that approximately 20% of study participants were obese or had a high waist circumference. Also, one in four study participants were cigarette smokers, the authors added, and poor sleep quality was observed in nearly 40% of the group. The frequency of known CVD risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia was "generally low."

Overall, during a mean follow-up period of 1,017 days, 267 individuals (0.1%) developed AFib. High waist circumference, hypertension, cigarette smoking and poor sleep quality were all directly associated with a heightened risk of developing AFib as a young adult.

“Close monitoring and early detection of AFib as well as prevention of AFib are important for individuals at high risk for future AFib because disabling thromboembolic stroke due to AFib among young adults is tragic and must be avoided,” wrote first author Hidetaka Itoh, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Tokyo, and colleagues.

Read the full study here.

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