Background: Well-established risk factors for atrial fibrillation (AF) include advanced age, male sex, hypertension and myocardial infarction. However, the pathophysiology of AF is complex and a large proportion of AF risk factors are still unexplained. Studies suggest that socioeconomic status, stressful jobs and psychosocial factors may influence the risk of AF.
Purpose: To examine the association between cohabiting status and the risk of AF.
Methods: This study was a population based cohort study using nationwide registers. All individuals in the population free of AF at baseline aged 30-90 years (y) were included 01/01/1996 and followed until the diagnosis of AF, death, emigration or end of study period (31/12/2015). Exposure was cohabiting status registered at baseline defined as "living alone" or "not living alone". We stratified the population into four age strata and used multivariate Cox regression to examine the association between cohabiting status and the risk of AF.
Results: Table 1 shows incidence rates (IR) per 1000 person-years for AF. Crude hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) of incidence AF for women living alone compared with women not living alone was 1.06 (0.99-1.13) (30-44 y), 1.10 (1.07-1.13) (45-59 y), 1.05 (1.03-1.07 y) (60-74 y) and 1.06 (0.95-1.18) (75-89 y). The associations for men was 1.05 (1.00-1.09), 1.05 (1.03-1.08), 1.04 (1.01-1.05) and 0.92 (0.79-1.06), respectively. The associations remained significant after adjusting for other sociodemographic factors and comorbidities, please see Table 1 for details.
Conclusion: Living alone may be associated with an increased risk of AF in middle-aged women. A similar association was observed for men but to a lesser extent.