Primary aldosteronism and thyroid disorders in atrial fibrillation: A Swedish nationwide case–control study

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Abstract

Background

Atrial fibrillation is associated with hyperthyroidism. Patients with primary aldosteronism have an increased prevalence of atrial fibrillation. However, the prevalence of primary aldosteronism in the atrial fibrillation population is unknown.

Aim

This nationwide case–control study aimed to compare the prevalence of primary aldosteronism and thyroid disorders in patients with atrial fibrillation with that of age- and sex-matched controls.

Methods

We identified all atrial fibrillation cases in Sweden between 1987 and 2013 (n = 713,569) by using the Swedish National Patient Register. A control cohort without atrial fibrillation was randomly selected from the Swedish Total Population Register with a case to control ratio of 1:2. This control cohort was matched for age, sex and place of birth (n = 1,393,953).

Results

The prevalence of primary aldosteronism in December 2013 was 0.056% in the atrial fibrillation cohort and 0.024% in controls. At the same time, the prevalence of hypothyroidism was 5.9% in the atrial fibrillation cohort and 3.7% in controls. The prevalence of hyperthyroidism was 2.3% in the atrial fibrillation cohort and 0.8% in controls.

Conclusion

This study shows, for the first time, a doubled prevalence of primary aldosteronism in a large cohort of patients with atrial fibrillation compared with the general population. There is also an increased prevalence of hypo- and hyper-thyroidism in patients with atrial fibrillation compared with the general population.

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