BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
A Mediterranean-type diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil has been associated with a reduction in the incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in a population at high cardiovascular risk. However, no study has replicated these findings. In our study, we analyzed the association between olive oil consumption and AF in the SUN project, a cohort with young Spanish adults at low cardiovascular risk.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
We included all participants without prevalent AF at baseline (18,118 participants). Incident AF cases were confirmed by a cardiologist following a prespecified protocol. We used multivariable repeated-measurement Cox models adjusted for possible confounders (sex, age, BMI, and several classic cardiovascular risk factors). After a mean follow-up of 10.1 years, 94 AF incident cases were confirmed. Comparing to the lowest category of consumption (<7.9 g/d), the multivariable models showed hazard ratios (IC 95%) of 1.52 (0.93-2.48) for low-to-moderate, 1.44 (0.83-2.47) for moderate-to-high and 1.27 (0.56-2.86) for high olive oil intake. In a subgroup analysis stratified by overweight, an inverse although non-significant association was found only among overweight participants when we compared the highest vs the lowest category of consumption (p for interaction = 0.043).
No association between olive oil and AF was found in this low-risk cohort, although the effect of extra-virgin olive oil on AF prevention especially among people with overweight deserves further investigation.