Chocolate intake and risk of clinically apparent atrial fibrillation: the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the association between chocolate intake and incident clinically apparent atrial fibrillation or flutter (AF).

Methods

The Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study is a large population-based prospective cohort study. The present study is based on 55 502 participants (26 400 men and 29 102 women) aged 50–64 years who had provided information on chocolate intake at baseline. Incident cases of AF were ascertained by linkage with nationwide registries.

Results

During a median of 13.5 years there were 3346 cases of AF. Compared with chocolate intake less than once per month, the rate of AF was lower for people consuming 1–3 servings/month (hazard ratio (HR) 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.82 to 0.98), 1 serving/week (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.92), 2–6 servings/week (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.91) and ≥1 servings/day (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.09; p-linear trend <0.0001), with similar results for men and women.

Conclusions

Accumulating evidence indicates that moderate chocolate intake may be inversely associated with AF risk, although residual confounding cannot be ruled out.

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