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Higher Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in People with Celiac Disease

Celiac.com 10/05/2011 - Researchers have established a number of inflammatory markers as risk factors for atrial fibrillation (AF), but they know very little about how autoimmune diseases affect AF.

A team of researchers recently set out to examine the association between celiac disease and AF in a large cohort of patients with biopsy-verified celiac disease.

Higher Risk of Atrial Fibrulation in People with Celiac DiseaseThe research team included Louise Emilsson, J. Gustav Smith, Joe West, Olle Melander, and Jonas F. Ludvigsson.

They are affiliated variously with Arvika Hospital in Arvika, Sweden, the Department of Cardiology at Lund University in Lund, Sweden, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, MA, USA, the Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund University in Malmö, Sweden, the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Hospital, the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre, NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Nottingham, UK, the Department of Pediatrics, Örebro University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden, the Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

For their study, the team used reports from biopsies performed between 1969 and 2008 at all 28 pathology departments in Sweden. They used reports of March 3 villous atrophy to identify 28,637 patients with celiac disease.

The team then used the Swedish Total Population Register to compile a group of 141,731 individuals, who were matched for age and sex.

The team gathered data on AF via the Swedish Hospital Discharge Register, the Hospital Outpatient Register, and the Cause of Death Register. They used Cox regression to estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for AF.

Over an average follow-up period of nine-years, 941 individuals form the group with celiac disease developed AF, compared with 2918 from the control group.

The adjusted HR for AF was 1.34 (95% CI = 1.24–1.44). The absolute risk of AF for the group with celiac disease was 321 for each 100,000 person-years, with an excess risk of 81 of 100,000.

People with a prior AF diagnosis also faced a higher risk of subsequent celiac disease (odds ratio = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.31–1.62).

The data show that atrial fibrillation is slightly more common both before and after celiac disease diagnosis in patients with celiac disease.

Potential explanations for higher AF risk in people with celiac disease include chronic inflammation and shared risk factors, but sampling bias may also play a part.

These results indicate that people with  biopsy-proven celiac disease face a slightly higher risk of atrial fibrillation.

These findings are consistent with previous studies that increased levels of inflammatory markers means higher levels of atrial fibrillation.

However, further study is required to isolate the direct link between atrial fibrillation and autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease.

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2 Responses:

 
SandraB
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said this on
12 Oct 2011 4:36:09 AM PST
I might be gluten sensitive, not celiac. Went gluten free for six months on Atkins then found I reacted to gluten, but couldn't bear or risk a trial, the reaction to it is so extreme. But my periodic irregular heartbeat was first noted at school. "Don't worry, some people have this, we don't know why," were the words. I was about 15, and I've been wondering why till now.

 
Charles Weber
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said this on
16 Sep 2013 4:51:46 AM PST
Dear Dr. ,
Insufficient potassium and vitamin B-1 (thiamin) can not damage the heart significantly when both are deficient. This has important safety implications when supplementing each during heart disease, arrhythmias, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, gout, beri-beri, or diabetes caused or influenced by the deficiency of one of them. It is extremely important to know which kind of heart disease is involved. This is probably the primary reason why the medical profession has not been able to prevent heart disease up to date and why potassium supplements cause neutral mortality statistics. Researchers almost across the board think that potassium has little impact on the body or/and is never deficient. This is a mistaken assumption. Most food processing procedures cause losses. Enormous attention is given to a single murder or handful of murders, while at the same time the food industry causing 500 thousand deaths from heart disease alone, gets almost no coverage. This is because a considerable fraction of their profits goes to promulgating these disasters by advertising and bribing politicians. Even the medical profession is responsible by procedures in hospital cafeterias.
Copper is crucial for strength of arteries because of its role as part of lysil oxidase, which cross links elastin tissue. A deficiency is probably the main cause of aneurisms and therefore many strokes, hemorrhoids, and many bleeding problems, as well as high blood cholesterol and is probably involved by a synergistic affect in the cause of diabetes by chili pepper. Finding ways to repair the heart is useful, but there is no good substitute for not damaging it in the first place.
You also may find a book about potassium nutrition as it relates to heart disease, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes, useful for your library. Sincerely, Charles Weber
PS Dr. Rastmanesh, a nutritionist from Iran, would like to secure a position in an English speaking university. He has an impressive CV. If you know of an opening I will send you his CV. It is a travesty to leave that fine researcher over in that criminal country after he has gotten rid of rheumatoid arthritis for us.




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