Mediterranean diet and atrial fibrillation: lessons learned from the AFHRI case-control study


  • F.A. Neumann
  • B. Jagemann
  • N. Makarova
  • C.S. Börschel
  • G. Aarabi
  • F. Gutmann
  • R.B. Schnabel
  • B.C. Zyriax


  • Nutrients


  • Nutrients 14 (17): 3615


  • A relationship between lifestyle, diet, and atrial fibrillation (AF) remains unclear. Except for alcohol consumption, AF guidelines do not differentiate specific advice for this rhythm disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between adherence to healthy dietary patterns and the presence of AF, among 104 low risk participants from the 1:1 matched case-control AFHRI (Atrial Fibrillation in High-Risk Individuals) study. Dietary data were obtained using a three-day food record. Adapted German versions of the validated 14-item Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener (MEDAS) and the validated eight-item Healthy Eating Index (HEI) from the Epic Study served as the basis for data derivation. The median age of the study participants was 63.0 years, 73.1% were men. In multivariable adjusted binary logistic regression analyses, we found inverse associations between both dietary indices (MEDAS: Median = 3, HEI: Median = 54.9) and the presence of AF (odds ratio for MEDAS: 0.65, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.47-0.91, odds ratio for HEI: 0.60, 95% CI 0.39-0.95). Further clinical studies are needed to confirm the extent to which high quality dietary patterns such as a Mediterranean diet influence the onset and natural history of AF, in order to provide dietary counselling.