Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) often coexists with atrial fibrillation (AF) and makes the course of AF worse. The negative impact of OSA on AF may be due to atrial stretch, hypoxia, hypertension, obesity, fibrosis, and inflammation. Several mediators are thought to be responsible for this correlation, among them adipokines such as visfatin. This study aimed to assess the association between visfatin concentrations and OSA in patients with AF.
This study aimed to assess the association between visfatin concentrations and OSA in AF patients.
In a tertiary Cardiology Department, hospitalized patients previously diagnosed with AF were enrolled in the study. Diagnosis of OSA was made based on a respiratory polygraphy and patients had blood samples taken for assessment of plasma visfatin concentration.
A total of 266 patients with AF (65% men, age 57.6 ± 10.1) were enrolled, and 121 (45%) were diagnosed with OSA. Patients with OSA had higher visfatin concentrations than those without OSA (2.13 ± 0.17 vs. 1.70 ± 0.21 ng/mL; p = 0.04). Patients with mild OSA had visfatin levels equal to 1.77 ± 0.17 ng/mL, moderate OSA 2.38 ± 0.18 ng/mL, and severe OSA 3.55 ± 0.61 ng/mL (p for trend = 0.017). Multivariate regression analysis showed that increased visfatin concentrations were associated with the risk of OSA (odds ratio 1.92; 95% confidence interval 1.09-3.40).
Patients with AF who were diagnosed with OSA had significantly higher plasma visfatin levels which increased according to the severity of OSA. Furthermore, multivariate regression analysis identified visfatin concentration over 1.25 ng/mL, male sex, age over 59.1 years, and permanent AF as the factors showing independent correlation with OSA.