FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) report at least one identifiable trigger, with the most common triggers being alcohol, caffeine, exercise, and lack of sleep, according to research published online Feb. 14 in HeartRhythm.
Christopher A. Groh, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues describe common triggers for AF and their correlation with patient characteristics in a cohort of 1,295 participants with symptomatic AF.
Overall, 74 percent of the participants reported triggers for AF episodes. The researchers found that those reporting triggers had reduced odds of congestive heart failure (odds ratio, 0.29) and increased odds of a family history of AF (odds ratio, 2.04) compared with those without triggers and after multivariate adjustment. Alcohol, caffeine, exercise, and lack of sleep were the most commonly reported triggers (reported by 35, 28, 23, and 21 percent of participants, respectively). Younger patients, women, and those with a family history of AF more commonly experienced various triggers according to multivariable models. Patients reported a median of two triggers; a greater number of triggers was seen in association with female sex, Hispanic ethnicity, obstructive sleep apnea, and family history of AF. There tended to be a clustering of vagally mediated triggers within individuals.
"Given the increasing prevalence of AF and the resultant burden on the health care system, identifying modifiable triggers may help to empower patients," the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.