Diabetes Increases a Woman’s Risk of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

October 5, 2009 5:23 AM CT

Women with diabetes have a 26% increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. These findings, from a Kasier Permanente study, were published in the October issue of Diabetes Care, an American Diabetes Association journal.

While we already knew that having diabetes increases the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, this study was the first to show that diabetes is an independent risk factor for afib among women.

Study investigator Greg Nichols said that, “Men with diabetes are also at higher risk, but the association between the two conditions is not as strong. For men, obesity and high blood pressure are bigger risk factors from diabetes.”

Atrial fibrillation is more common in men than women, but this study found that atrial fibrillation was the same in women with diabetes as in men without diabetes. According to Nichols, “Diabetes seems to remove the protective effect of being a woman.”

To read more about the study, see: