Postoperative atrial fibrillation and total dietary antioxidant capacity in patients undergoing cardiac surgery: The Polyphemus Observational Study

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Postoperative atrial fibrillation is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for stroke after cardiac surgery. Both systemic inflammation and oxidative stress play a role in the initiation of postoperative atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery. The possible association between long-term intake of antioxidant-rich foods and postoperative atrial fibrillation incidence was examined in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.


A total of 217 consecutive patients (74% were men; median age, 68.4 years) undergoing cardiac surgery, mainly coronary artery bypass grafting and valve replacement or repair, were recruited from January 2010 to September 2012. Total antioxidant capacity was measured in foods by the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity assay. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Food Frequency Questionnaire was used for dietary total antioxidant capacity assessment. The association among tertiles of dietary total antioxidant capacity and postoperative atrial fibrillation incidence was assessed using multivariable logistic analysis.


The overall incidence of total arrhythmias and postoperative atrial fibrillation was 42.4% and 38.2%, respectively. In multivariable analysis, after adjustment for age, gender, use of hypoglycemic drugs, physical activity, education, previous diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, and total energy intake, patients in the highest tertile of dietary total antioxidant capacity had a lower risk of postoperative atrial fibrillation than patients in the 2 lowest tertiles (odds ratio, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.22-0.95; P = .048). A restricted cubic spline transformation confirmed the nonlinear relationship between total antioxidant capacity (in continuous scale) and postoperative atrial fibrillation (P = .023). When considering only coronary artery bypass grafting, valve replacement/repair, and combined surgeries, the protective effect on postoperative atrial fibrillation of a diet rich in antioxidants was confirmed.


Long-term consumption of antioxidant-rich foods is associated with a reduced incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.

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