UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor and risk of atrial fibrillation

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is expressed by endothelial cells and can affect cardiovascular function. We examined if serum BDNF was associated with risk of incident atrial fibrillation (AF) in the Framingham Heart Study.

METHODS: We studied individuals without an AF diagnosis at baseline from the Framingham original and offspring cohorts. We used age- and sex-adjusted, and multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models to examine the association of serum BDNF concentrations with 10-year risk of incident AF.

RESULTS: We studied 3,457 participants (mean age 65+/-11years, 58% women). During follow-up, 395 participants developed AF. In unadjusted analysis, higher mean serum BDNF concentration was associated with lower incidence of AF (hazard ratio 0.89 per SD, 95% CI 0.80-0.99). In multivariable-adjusted analyses, serum BDNF concentration was not significantly associated with incident AF (hazard ratio 0.98 per SD, 95% CI 0.88-1.09). Compared with the lowest quartile, BDNF levels in the other quartiles were not associated with risk of AF in multivariable-adjusted analyses. No interactions between sex or age with serum BDNF concentrations and risk of AF were found.

CONCLUSIONS: In our prospective, community-based sample, we did not find a statistically significant association of serum BDNF levels with risk of incident AF.

DOI of Published Version



Am Heart J. 2017 Jan;183:69-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2016.07.027. Epub 2016 Oct 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American heart journal

PubMed ID