Association of Proteinuria and Incident Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: a Population-based Senior Cohort Study

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is considered an independent risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF). The excess risk in relation to the presence of proteinuria has not been well elucidated. Our aim was to determine the association between the incidence of AF and proteinuria in diabetic population. A total of 240,499 individuals aged ≥ 60 years from the Korea National Health Insurance Service-Senior cohort from 2004 to 2014 were included. 4.2% of individuals with DM and 3.7% of controls were diagnosed with AF during a median follow-up period of 7.2 years. Amongst controls (participants without proteinuria and DM), DM only, proteinuria only, and DM with proteinuria groups, the crude incidences of AF were 0.58, 0.70, 0.96, 1.24 per 100 person-years respectively. Compared with controls, the weighted risk of AF was increased by 11% (hazard ratio = 1.11, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-1.20, P = .001), 48% (hazard ratio = 1.48, 95% confidence interval = 1.30-1.69, P < .001), and 66% (hazard ratio = 1.66, 95% confidence interval = 1.26-2.18, P < .001) in the DM only, proteinuria only, and DM with proteinuria groups, respectively (P for trend < .001). Degree of proteinuria in diabetic patients was associated with a significantly higher rate of incident AF in dose dependent manner. Thus, assessing proteinuria by a simple urine dipstick test could provide a useful adjunct to risk assessment for AF in elderly population with DM.