Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Increases Risk for Atrial Fibrillation

Findings based on Mendelian randomization study
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, July 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published online June 2 in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine.

Lei Wang and Yi Wei Lu, from the Aerospace Center Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues assessed GERD’s role as a potential contributing factor in atrial fibrillation using a two-sample Mendelian randomization technique. The examination of the association of genetic variants with GERD used data from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 602,604 people, while data on the association between genetic variations and atrial fibrillation was obtained from a second GWAS involving 1.03 million participants.

The researchers found that Mendelian randomization analyses, using 76 single nucleotide polymorphisms as markers, revealed a relationship between genetically predicted GERD and a greater atrial fibrillation incidence (odds ratio, 1.165). There was no evidence of gene pleiotropy (intercept = 0.003). Similar results were seen in a sensitivity analysis.

"The Mendelian randomization analysis revealed a correlation between GERD and increased atrial fibrillation incidence, supporting the idea that treating patients with GERD as early as possible might reduce their chance of developing atrial fibrillation," the authors write.

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