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Serum metabolomics and incidence of atrial fibrillation: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

By Alvaro Alonso, Bing Yu, Yan V Sun, Lin Y. Chen, Laura R Loehr, Wesley T. O’Neal, Elsayed Z. Soliman, Eric Boerwinkle

Posted 16 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/368118

We have previously identified associations of two circulating secondary bile acids (glycocholenate and glycolithocolate sulfate) with atrial fibrillation (AF) risk among blacks. We aimed to replicate these findings in an independent sample including both whites and blacks, and performed a new metabolomic analysis in the combined sample. We studied 3,922 participants from the ARIC cohort followed between 1987 and 2013. Of these, 1,919 had been included in the prior analysis and 2,003 were new samples. Metabolomic profiling was done in baseline serum samples using gas and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. AF was ascertained from electrocardiograms, hospitalizations, and death certificates. We used multivariable Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) of AF by one standard deviation difference of metabolite levels. Over a mean follow-up of 20 years, 608 participants developed AF. Glycocholenate sulfate was associated with AF in the replication and combined samples (HR 1.10, 95%CI 1.00, 1.21 and HR 1.13, 95%CI 1.04, 1.22, respectively). Glycolithocolate sulfate was not related to AF risk in the replication sample (HR 1.02, 95%CI 0.92, 1.13). An analysis of 245 metabolites in the combined cohort identified three additional metabolites associated with AF after multiple-comparison correction: pseudouridine (HR 1.18, 95%CI 1.10, 1.28), uridine (HR 0.86, 95%CI 0.79, 0.93) and acisoga (HR 1.17, 95%CI 1.09, 1.26). To conclude, we replicated a prospective association between a previously identified secondary bile acid, glycocholenate sulfate, and AF incidence, and identified new metabolites involved in nucleoside and polyamine metabolism as markers of AF risk.

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