Asthma is a chronic pulmonary condition characterized by the narrowing and swelling of airways in the lungs. Although asthma and atrial fibrillation (AF) share pathophysiological mechanisms, it’s not clear asthma is associated with an increased risk of AF. This study aims to identify the risk of AF associated with asthma and asthma control.
This prospective population cohort study included a total of 54,567 adults free from AF. The participants were categorized into three groups: those who ever had asthma (n=5,961), who were being diagnosed with asthma (n=3,934), and who had active asthma (n=2,485). The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of AF.
During the mean follow-up of 15.4 years, 2,071 participants (3.8%) developed AF. Participants with diagnosed asthma had a 38% higher risk of developing AF (HR 1.38) compared with those without asthma. An association between dose-response of asthma control and the risk of AF was also discovered, with the highest risk being in participants with uncontrolled asthma (HR 1.74).
The research concluded that asthma and a decline in asthma control were associated with a moderately increased risk of AF. However, the actual underlying mechanisms and causal pathways between asthma and AF are still unclear and require further research.