(HealthDay)—Cumulative years of regular endurance exercise are associated with an increased risk for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.
Marius Myrstad, M.D., from Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway, and colleagues assessed the risk for atrial arrhythmias by cumulative years of regular endurance exercise in men from the general population and male participants in a long-distance cross-country ski race. Between the two cohorts there were 3,545 men aged ≥53 years. Electrocardiograms validated arrhythmia diagnoses, while a questionnaire assessed regular endurance exercise.
The researchers found that the adjusted odds ratio was 1.16 for atrial fibrillation and 1.42 for atrial flutter per 10 years of regular endurance exercise. The associations were significant in both cross-country skiers and men from the general population.
"Cumulative years of regular endurance exercise were associated with a gradually increased risk for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter," the authors write.
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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