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Death of a child and the risk of atrial fibrillation: a nationwide cohort study in Sweden

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

DOI

  • Dang Wei, Karolinska Univ Hosp, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital
  • ,
  • Tristan Olofsson, Karolinska Univ Hosp, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital
  • ,
  • Hua Chen, Department of Global Health and Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA., Karolinska Univ Hosp, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital
  • ,
  • Imre Janszky, Karolinska Univ Hosp, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital
  • ,
  • Fang Fang, Karolinska Univ Hosp, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital
  • ,
  • Rickard Ljung, Karolinska Univ Hosp, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital
  • ,
  • Yongfu Yu
  • Jiong Li
  • Krisztina D László, Department of Global Health and Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA., Karolinska Univ Hosp, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital

AIMS: The role of psychological stress in the aetiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) is unclear. The death of a child is one of the most severe sources of stress. We aimed to investigate whether the death of a child is associated with an increased risk of AF.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied parents with children born during 1973-2014 included the Swedish Medical Birth Register (n = 3 924 237). Information on death of a child, AF and socioeconomic, lifestyle and health-related covariates was obtained through linkage to nationwide population and health registers. We examined the link between death of a child and AF risk using Poisson regression. Parents who lost a child had a 15% higher risk of AF than unexposed parents [incidence rate ratio (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.15 (1.10-1.20)]. An increased risk of AF was observed not only if the child died due to cardiovascular causes [IRR (95% CI): 1.35 (1.17-1.56)], but also in case of deaths due to other natural [IRR (95% CI): 1.15 (1.09-1.21)] or unnatural [IRR (95% CI): 1.10 (1.02-1.19)] causes. The risk of AF was highest in the 1st week after the loss [IRR (95% CI): 2.87 (1.44-5.75)] and remained 10-40% elevated on the long term.

CONCLUSIONS: Death of a child was associated with a modestly increased risk of AF. Our finding that an increased risk was observed also after loss of a child due to unnatural deaths suggests that stress-related mechanisms may also be implicated in the development of AF.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Heart Journal
Vol/bind42
Nummer15
Sider (fra-til)1489-1495
Antal sider7
ISSN0195-668X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2021

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