People with damage in the small blood vessels of the retina and kidneys are at increased risk to develop the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.
Atrial fibrillation raises the risk of stroke and causes heart-related chest pain or heart failure in some people.
Researchers in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) followed 10,009 middle-aged people for an average 13.6 years. Atrial fibrillation developed at a rate of:
Though reasons for the association are unclear, changes in other vascular beds may serve as a representation of coronary micro-vascular changes and the observed association may be mediated via inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, autonomic dysfunction, and electro-mechanical remodeling, the researchers said.
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