Atrial fibrillation (AF) is prevalent in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Glycemic variability (GV) is associated with risk of micro- and macrovascular diseases. However, whether the GV can increase the risk of AF remains unknown.
The cohort study used a database from National Taiwan University Hospital, a tertiary medical center in Taiwan. Between 2014 and 2019, a total of 27246 adult patients with T2DM were enrolled for analysis. Each individual was assessed to determine the coefficients of variability of fasting glucose (FGCV) and HbA1c variability score (HVS). The GV parameters were categorized into quartiles. Multivariate Cox regression models were employed to estimate the relationship between the GV parameters and the risk of AF, transient ischemic accident (TIA)/ischemic stroke and mortality in patients with T2DM.
The incidence rates of AF and TIA/ischemic stroke were 21.31 and 13.71 per 1000 person-year respectively. The medium follow-up period was 70.7 months. In Cox regression model with full adjustment, the highest quartiles of FGCV was not associated with increased risk of AF (Hazard ratio (HR): 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96-1.29, p=0.165) or TIA/ischemic stroke (HR: 1.03, 95% CI: 0.82-1.29, p=0.821), but was associated with increased risk of total mortality (HR: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.13-1.60, p<0.001) and non-cardiac mortality (HR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.17-1.72, p<0.001). The highest HVS was significantly associated with increased risk of AF (HR: 1.29, 95% CI: 1.12-1.48, p<0.001), total mortality (HR: 2.44, 95% CI: 2.04-2.91, p<0.001), cardiac mortality (HR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.04-2.10, p=0.028) and non-cardiac mortality (HR: 2.83, 95% CI: 2.31-3.14, p<0.001) but was not associated with TIA/ischemic stroke (HR: 1.00, 95% CI: 0.79-1.26, p=0.989). The Kaplan-Meier analysis showed significantly higher risk of AF, cardiac and non-cardiac mortality according to the magnitude of GV(log-rank<0.001).
Higher GV is independently associated with the development of new-onset AF in patients with T2DM. Reducing GV may be a potential new therapeutic target to prevent AF.