Study: Age, Sex, and BMI Plus Two Biomarkers Can Identify AFib

A new study has pinpointed several clinical risks and biomarkers for atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Researchers, publishing in the European Heart Journal, identified 40 common cardiovascular biomarkers in 638 consecutive patients admitted with known AFib or two or more CHA2DS2-VASc risk factors. The employed logistic regression with forward selection and machine learning algorithms to determine clinical risk factors as well as biomarkers associated with AFib.

According to their results, AFib correlated significantly (and exclusively) with age (P=0.001), male sex (P=0.008), BMI (P=0.003), elevated BNP levels (P=0.002), elevated FGF-23 (P=0.001), and reduced TRAIL-R2 (P=0.001). These biomarkers helped improve prediction of AFib when compared to just looking at clinical factors alone (P<0.001).

“ECG screening is resource-intensive and burdensome for patients therefore it is important that the right patients are selected for this type of screening,” lead author Yanish Purmah, MD, of the University of Birmingham, concluded in a press release. “The biomarkers we have identified have the potential to be used in a blood test in community settings such as in general practices to simplify patient selection for ECG screening.”

Coauthor Paulus Kirchhof, MD, Director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, added that “[w]e hope that, as the result of our findings, more people with what can often be a silent disease are diagnosed so that any complications can be prevented.”

Source: European Heart Journal