Chocolate consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation: Two cohort studies and a meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background

Chocolate consumption has been inconsistently associated with risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). We investigated the association between chocolate consumption and risk of AF in Swedish adults from two cohort studies and conducted a meta-analysis to summarize available evidence from cohort studies on this topic.

Methods

Our study population comprised 40,009 men from the Cohort of Swedish Men and 32,486 women from the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Incident AF cases were ascertained through linkage with the Swedish National Patient Register. Published cohort studies of chocolate consumption in relation to risk of AF were identified by a PubMed search through September 14, 2017.

Results

During a mean follow-up of 14.6 years, AF was diagnosed in 9978 Swedish men and women. Compared with non-consumers, the multivariable hazard ratio of AF for those in the highest category of chocolate consumption (≥3–4 servings/week) was 0.96 (95% CI 0.88–1.04). In a random-effects meta-analysis of 5 cohort studies, including 180,454 participants and 16,356 AF cases, the hazard ratios of AF were 0.97 (95% CI 0.94–1.01) per 2 servings/week increase in chocolate consumption and 0.96 (95% CI 0.90–1.03) for the highest versus lowest category of chocolate consumption.

Conclusion

Available data provide no evidence of an association of chocolate consumption with risk of AF.

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