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Olle Melander

Principal investigator

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Psychological stress and risk of incident atrial fibrillation in men and women with known atrial fibrillation genetic risk scores


  • Thomas Svensson
  • Mariusz Kitlinski
  • Gunnar Engström
  • Olle Melander

Summary, in English

Psychological stress has been reported as a possible trigger of atrial fibrillation (AF). No studies have investigated whether any association between stress and AF could be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF (AF-genetic risk score (AF-GRS)). 8765 men and 13,543 women from the Malmö Diet Cancer Study, a population-based cohort, were included in the analyses. A variable representing stress was constructed from questions measuring job strain, and from one question assessing non-occupational stress. Cox proportional hazards regression models were adjusted for known covariates of AF. Mean follow-up times and number of recorded incident AF were 14.2 years and 1116 events for men, and 15.1 years and 932 events for women. Among women, high stress was associated with AF in the age adjusted model (hazard ratio [HR], 1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.47) but not following multivariable adjustment (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.95-1.39). Stress was not associated with incident AF in men. AF-GRS was significantly associated with incident AF for both genders. Stress did not interact significantly with genetic susceptibility to AF in men or women. Chronic stress is not associated with long-term incident hospital diagnosed AF. This association does not appear to be modified by genetic susceptibility to AF.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology
  • EXODIAB: Excellence in Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Publishing year





Scientific Reports



Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Research - Epidemiology


  • ISSN: 2045-2322