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Effect of Intensive Blood Pressure Loweringon Incident Atrial Fibrillation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

The effect of intensive versus standard blood pressure (BP) lowering on the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) is uncertain. Intensive BP lowering is associated with a lower risk of AF among patients with hypertension. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and CENTRAL (inception to June 5, 2020) for randomized controlled trials evaluating the effect of intensive versus standard (target systolic BP < 140 mmHg) BP lowering on incident AF. We assessed heterogeneity using the I2 statistic then usedfixed-effects meta-analysis models to report pooled treatment effects and 95% confidence intervals. We also tested for publication bias by three funnel plot-based methods. The quality of each study was assessed with the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. We assessed 16 candidate studies for eligibility from 2,312 published articles, but only three randomized clinical trials were eligible for inclusion and included a combined 12,219 participants with hypertension: Cardio-Sis (Studio Italiano Sugli Effetti Cardiovascolari del Controllo della Pressione Arteriosa Sistolica), ACCORD-BP (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Blood Pressure trial), and SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial). The target systolic BP in the intensive BP arm was <120 mmHg for participants in SPRINT and ACCORD-BP, but <130 mmHg for participants in Cardio-Sis. Participants randomized to intensive BP lowering had significantly lower risk of incident AF compared with those randomized tostandard BP lowering (AF incidence 2.2% vs. 3.0%, respectively; pooled hazard ratio (95% confidence interval): 0.74 (0.59 – 0.93)).Intensive BP lowering is associated with a significantly lower risk of incident AF in patients with hypertension. These findings add to the current evidence supporting the benefits of intensive BP control

Credits: Matthew J. Singleton; Lin Y. Chen; S. Patrick Whalen; Prashant D. Bhave; Elijah H. Beaty; Joseph Yeboah; Elsayed Z. Soliman

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Introduction to AFib
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