Prevention and Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation via Risk Factor Modification Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.08.042 Web of Science: 000717475200007

Cited authors

  • O'Keefe EL, Sturgess JE, O'Keefe JH, Gupta S, Lavie CJ


  • Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common clinically significant arrhythmia, and it increases stroke risk. A preventive approach to AF is needed because virtually all treatments such as cardioversion, antiarrhythmic drugs, ablation, and anticoagulation are associated with high cost and carry significant risk. A systematic review was performed to identify effective lifestyle-based strategies for reducing primary and secondary AF. A PubMed search was performed using articles up to March 1, 2021. Search terms included atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, exercise, diet, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, stress, tobacco smoking, alcohol, Mediterranean diet, sodium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Additional articles were identified from the bibliographies of retrieved articles. The control of hypertension, ideally with a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor, is effective for preventing primary AF and recurrence. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common cause of AF, and treating it effectively reduces AF episodes. Alcohol increases the risk of AF in a dose-dependent manner, and abstinence reduces risk of recurrence. Sedentary behavior and chronic high-intensity endurance exercise are both risk factors for AF; however, moderate physical activity is associated with lower risk of AF. Recently, sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists have been associated with reduced risk of AF. Among overweight/obese patients, weight loss of >= 10% is associated with reduced AF risk. Lifestyle changes and risk factor modification are highly effective for preventing AF. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Publication date

  • 2021

Published in


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9149

Number of pages

  • 7

Start page

  • 46

End page

  • 52


  • 160