Both current and former smokers could have a significantly higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation (A.Fib) compared to never smokers, suggests new research.
As part of a review, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology , researchers examined data from 29 studies to explore the link between smoking and A.Fib. While some previous research in this area has identified a positive association, others have found no association.
The authors found current smoking was associated with a 32 per cent increased risk of developing A.Fib compared to never smokers. Former smokers had a 9 per cent increased risk, while ever smokers had a 21 per cent increased risk. There was also a clear dose-response relationship between risk and increasing number of cigarettes smoked per day, with a 14 per cent increase in the risk of A.Fib for every 10 cigarettes smoked per day.
The authors say the findings have important clinical and public health implications as they provide evidence not only of a dose-response relationship between the increasing number of cigarettes smoked and the risk of A.Fib, but of a reduced risk among former smokers compared to current smokers.