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Atopic dermatitis and risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter: a 35-year follow-up study

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BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis is characterized by chronic inflammation, which is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between hospital-diagnosed atopic dermatitis and atrial fibrillation.

METHODS: Using linked population-based Danish registries, we identified persons with an inpatient or outpatient hospital diagnosis of atopic dermatitis during 1977-2013 and a comparison cohort individually matched to the atopic dermatitis cohort. We followed cohorts until death, emigration, atrial fibrillation diagnosis, or end of study (January 1, 2013). We compared 35-year risk of atrial fibrillation and estimated hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals using Cox regression, adjusting for birth year and sex. We validated 100 atopic dermatitis diagnoses from a dermatologic department through medical record review.

RESULTS: We included 13,126 persons with atopic dermatitis and 124,211 comparators and followed them for a median of 19.3 years. The 35-year risk of atrial fibrillation was 0.81% and 0.67%, respectively. The positive predictive value of atopic dermatitis diagnoses was 99%. The hazard ratio was 1.2 (95% confidence interval 1.0-1.6) and remained increased after adjusting for various atrial fibrillation risk factors.

LIMITATIONS: Analyses were limited to persons with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, and we had no lifestyle data.

CONCLUSION: Patients with hospital-diagnosed atopic dermatitis have a 20% increased long-term risk of atrial fibrillation, but the absolute risk remains low.

TidsskriftJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Sider (fra-til)1616-1624
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2020

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