HealthDay News — According to a study published in JAMA Cardiology, black Americans with atrial fibrillation are at higher risk than whites for serious cardiovascular complications and death.

The study included 15,080 blacks and whites, average age 54, who were followed for an average of 21 years.

During that time, 2348 cases of atrial fibrillation were identified. Blacks with atrial fibrillation had up to 2 times greater risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure and all-cause mortality than whites with atrial fibrillation.

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“We knew blacks were likely to have an increased risk of stroke, but the findings for heart failure, coronary heart disease, and mortality are novel and important,” lead author Jared Magnani, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Institute, said in a university news release. 

“There needs to be further investigation. It’s going to be important to dissect the mechanisms behind why blacks with atrial fibrillation are highly more likely to have adverse outcomes than whites.”


Magnani JW, et al. “Racial Differences in Atrial Fibrillation-Related Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study.” JAMA Cardiol. 2016;1(4): 433-441. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.1025

Stamos TD, Darbar D. “The ‘Double’ Paradox of Atrial Fibrillation in Black Individuals.” JAMA Cardiol. 2016;1(4): 377-379. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.1259

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