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Immune cell subpopulations as risk factors for atrial fibrillation: The Cardiovascular Health Study and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Published:October 18, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2022.10.012
      Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common treatable cardiac arrhythmia. Risk factors for AF are difficult to modify, and interventions to prevent AF in clinical trials have failed to date. Inflammation is an important pathway for the development of AF, and recent studies suggest that activation of specific innate and adaptive immune responses, such as intermediate monocytes
      • Suzuki A.
      • Fukuzawa K.
      • Yamashita T.
      • et al.
      Circulating intermediate CD14++CD16+ monocytes are increased in patients with atrial fibrillation and reflect the functional remodelling of the left atrium.
      and highly cytotoxic CD4+CD28null cells,
      • Sulzgruber P.
      • Thaler B.
      • Koller L.
      • et al.
      CD4+CD28null T lymphocytes are associated with the development of atrial fibrillation after elective cardiac surgery.
      ,
      • Hammer A.
      • Niessner A.
      • Sulzgruber P.
      The impact of CD4+CD28null T lymphocytes on atrial fibrillation: a potential pathophysiological pathway.
      may play a role in AF pathogenesis. However, it remains unclear whether immune activation is a result or a cause of AF. In 2 prospective cohort studies—the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)—we evaluated whether circulating innate and adaptive immune cells were associated with new-onset AF during follow-up.

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