UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Digestive System Diseases | Hepatology


BACKGROUND: Obesity is an important risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and atrial fibrillation (AF). Less is known about the relations between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and AF. We sought to evaluate the association between fatty liver and prevalent and incident AF in the community.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We examined Framingham Heart Study participants who underwent a study-directed computed tomography scan, had hepatic steatosis (HS) evaluated, and did not report heavy alcohol use between 2002 and 2005. We evaluated cross-sectional associations between liver fat and prevalent AF with logistic regression models. We assessed the relations between liver fat and incident AF during 12-year follow-up with Cox proportional hazards models. Of 2122 participants (53% women; mean age, 59.0+/-9.6 years), 20% had HS. AF prevalence (n=62) among individuals with HS was 4% compared to 3% among those without HS. There was no significant association between HS (measured as continuous or dichotomous variables) and prevalent AF in age- and sex-adjusted or multivariable-adjusted models. Incidence of AF (n=153) among participants with and without HS was 8.7 cases and 7.8 cases per 1000 person-years, respectively. In age- and sex-adjusted and multivariable-adjusted models, there were no significant associations between continuous or dichotomous measures of HS and incident AF.

CONCLUSIONS: In our community-based, longitudinal cohort study, liver fat by computed tomography scan was not significantly associated with increased prevalence or incidence of AF over 12 years of follow-up.


atrial fibrillation, epidemiology, liver, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, observational studies

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.

DOI of Published Version



J Am Heart Assoc. 2017 May 2;6(5). pii: e005227. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.116.005227. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Heart Association

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.