Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Is Resting Heart Rate Associated with Incident AF?

Am J Cardiol; ePub 2018 Feb 21; Wang, et al

High resting heart rate (HR) is associated with higher atrial fibrillation (AF) in a middle-aged population, a recent study found. This relationship was evaluated in 11,545 participants (mean age 57±5.7 years) from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study who were free of AF at baseline. Resting HR was obtained from 10-second electrocardiograms at baseline and 3 years later. Researchers found:

  • Over a median of 22.5 years, 1,746 (15%) participants developed AF.
  • Both baseline high resting HR and increase in HR were independently associated with incident AF (HR, 1.2).
  • Increase in HR was no longer associated with incident AF after additional adjustment for incident heart failure.


Wang W, Alonso A, Soliman EZ, et al. Relationship of resting heart rate to incident atrial fibrillation (From ARIC [Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities] Study). [Published online ahead of print February 21, 2018]. Am J Cardiol. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.01.037.

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