Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the incidence of atrial fibrillation: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study

Alvaro Alonso, Jeffrey R. Misialek, Erin D. Michos, John Eckfeldt, Elizabeth Selvin, Elsayed Z. Soliman, Lin Y. Chen, Myron D. Gross, Pamela L. Lutsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aims To assess the prospective association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. Methods and results We studied 12 303 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study without baseline AF (1990-92). Baseline serum total 25(OH)D was measured using mass spectrometry. Incident AF cases were identified from electrocardiograms, hospital discharge codes, and death certificates through 2012. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of AF across clinical categories of serum 25(OH)D concentrations with multivariable Cox models, and tested interactions by age, race, and sex. We meta-analysed our results with those from published prospective studies that reported associations between 25(OH)D and AF risk. During a median follow-up of 21 years, we identified 1866 AF events. In multivariable models, deficient 25(OH)D status (<20 ng/mL), compared with optimal levels (≥30 ng/mL), was not associated with AF risk (HR, 95% CI: 1.10, 0.96-1.26). A significant interaction of 25(OH)D concentrations with age (P = 0.01), but not with race or sex (P > 0.40), was identified, with higher risk of AF among those with deficient 25(OH)D status in younger (HR, 95% CI: 1.35, 1.05-1.73) but not older individuals (HR, 95% CI: 1.02, 0.86-1.21). A meta-analysis of these results and four prospective studies did not support a clinically relevant association of circulating 25(OH)D with AF risk [pooled HR, 95%CI: 1.04, 1.00-1.08, per 1 SD lower 25(OH)D]. Conclusion Low serum 25(OH)D was not associated with incident AF in a community-based cohort and in a meta-analysis of prospective studies. A possible association in younger individuals warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1149
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cohort
  • Epidemiology
  • Meta-analysis
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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