Patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) have a favorable prognosis after treatment with thyroidectomy, radioiodine, and TSH suppression. However, treatment is associated with long-term cardiovascular toxicity. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there is an increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) in DTC patients and whether AF occurrence is related to DTC treatment.Patients and Methods:
Incident AF was compared between 518 DTC patients and 1563 matched controls. A cumulative incidence curve was plotted, and competing risk regression analyses with adjustment for all-cause mortality were performed. Within the DTC cohort, associations between time-varying DTC treatment variables and incident AF were analyzed.Results:
For both cohorts, the mean age was 48.6 years (75% of subjects were women). The AF incidence rate was 6.2/1000 person-years for DTC patients and 2.7/1000 person-years for controls. DTC patients had a 2.25-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.40–3.63) and 2.47-fold (95% CI, 1.55–3.95) increased AF risk in crude and fully adjusted analyses, respectively. Within the DTC cohort, the TSH level (which was suppressed in 85.7% of patients) was not associated with AF, whereas a higher cumulative radioiodine dose slightly increased AF risk: subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.04 (95% CI, 1.01–1.08) per 50 mCi (1.85 GBq) increase, after adjustment.Conclusion:
Patients with DTC have an increased AF risk, independent from established AF risk factors. We could not demonstrate a relation between TSH and AF, whereas a higher cumulative radioiodine dose was associated with a slightly increased AF risk. Electrocardiogram screening for AF may be warranted during follow-up of DTC patients to allow early diagnosis and treatment of AF and to prevent its complications.