New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation Is a Predictor of Subsequent Hyperthyroidism: A Nationwide Cohort Study

Selmer, Christian; Hansen, Morten Lock; Olesen, Jonas Bjerring; Mérie, Charlotte; Lindhardsen, Jesper; Olsen, Anne-Marie Schjerning; Madsen, Jesper Clausager; Schmidt, Ulla; Faber, Jens; Hansen, Peter Riis; Pedersen, Ole Dyg; Torp-Pedersen, Christian; Gislason, Gunnar Hilmar
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Aims: To examine the long-term risk of hyperthyroidism in patients admitted to hospital with new-onset AF. Hyperthyroidism is a well-known risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF), but it is unknown whether new-onset AF predicts later-occurring hyperthyroidism. Methods and Results: All patients admitted with new-onset AF in Denmark from 1997–2009, and their present and subsequent use of anti-thyroid medication was identified by individual-level linkage of nationwide registries. Patients with previous thyroid diagnosis or thyroid medication use were excluded. Development of hyperthyroidism was assessed as initiation of methimazole or propylthiouracil up to a 13-year period. Risk of hyperthyroidism was analysed by Poisson regression models adjusted for important confounders such as amiodarone treatment. Non-AF individuals from the general population served as reference. A total of 145,623 patients with new-onset AF were included (mean age 66.4 years [SD ±13.2] and 55.3% males) of whom 3% (4,620 events; 62.2% women) developed hyperthyroidism in the post-hospitalization period compared to 1% (48,609 events; 82% women) in the general population (n = 3,866,889). In both women and men we found a significantly increased risk of hyperthyroidism associated with new-onset AF compared to individuals in the general population. The highest risk was found in middle-aged men and was consistently increased throughout the 13-year period of observation. The results were confirmed in a substudy analysis of 527,352 patients who had thyroid screening done. Conclusion: New-onset AF seems to be a predictor of hyperthyroidism. Increased focus on subsequent risk of hyperthyroidism in patients with new-onset AF is warranted.


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