Background Various mechanisms in cardiac remodeling related to atrial fibrillation (AF) lead to elevated circulating cardiac troponin levels, but little is known about such elevations upstream to AF onset. Objective The purpose of this study was to study the association between circulating troponin levels as assessed by a highly sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) assay and incident atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods In a large prospective cohort of ambulatory older adults [the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS)], hs-cTnT levels were measured in sera that were collected at enrollment from 4262 participants without AF (2871 with follow-up measurements). Incident AF was identified by electrocardiograms during CHS visits, hospital discharge diagnoses, and Medicare files, including outpatient and physician claims diagnoses. Results Over median follow-up of 11.2 years (interquartile range 6.1-16.5), 1363 participants (32.0%) developed AF. Higher baseline levels of hs-cTnT were associated with incident AF in covariate-adjusted analyses accounting for demographics, traditional risk factors, and incident heart failure in time-dependent analyzes (hazard ratio for 3rd tertile vs undetectable 1.75, 95% confidence interval 1.48-2.08). This association was statistically significant in analyses that additionally adjusted for biomarkers of inflammation and hemodynamic strain (hazard ratio for 3rd tertile vs undetectable 1.38, 95% confidence interval 1.16-1.65). Significant associations were also found when hs-cTnT levels were treated as a continuous variable and when examining change from baseline of hs-cTnT levels and incident AF. Conclusion The findings show a significant association of circulating troponin levels in ambulatory older adults with incident AF beyond that of traditional risk factors, incident heart failure, and biomarkers of inflammation and hemodynamic strain.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Cardiac remodeling Aging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)