Flavonoid intake and its association with atrial fibrillation

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ABSTRACT Background & Aims: Primary prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF) through behavioural and dietary modification is a critically important and unmet need. Flavonoids are bioactive dietary compounds with promising cardiovascular health benefits. Our aim was to investigate the association between flavonoid intake and clinically apparent AF. Methods: Baseline data from 55 613 participants of the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study, without AF, recruited between 1993 and 1997, were cross-linked with Danish nationwide registries. Total flavonoid and flavonoid subclass intakes were calculated from validated food frequency questionnaires using the Phenol-Explorer database. Associations between flavonoid intake and incident AF (first-time hospitalization or outpatient visit) were examined using restricted cubic splines based on Cox proportional hazards models. Results: During a median [IQR] follow-up of 21 [18 – 22] years, 7291 participants were diagnosed with AF. Total flavonoid intake was not statistically significantly associated with risk of incident AF in the whole cohort. However, compared to the lowest quintile, a total flavonoid intake of 1000 mg/day was associated with a lower risk of AF in smokers [0.86 (0.77, 0.96)] but not in non-smokers [0.96 (0.88, 1.06)], and a lower risk of AF in high alcohol consumers [>20 g/d: 0.84 (0.75, 0.95)] but not in low-to-moderate alcohol consumers [<20 g/d: 0.97 (0.89, 1.07]. Conclusion: Intake of flavonoids was not significantly associated with a lower risk of incident AF. However, higher intakes of flavonoids may be beneficial for those at a higher risk of developing AF. Keywords: atrial fibrillation, flavonoids, prospective cohort study, primary prevention, nutrition, cardiovascular disease. Abstract word count: 240 words
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nutrition
Early online date23 Apr 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 Apr 2020


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