Association between oxidative stress and atrial fibrillation

Ayman Samman Tahhan, Pratik B. Sandesara, Salim S. Hayek, Ayman Alkhoder, Kaavya Chivukula, Muhammad Hammadah, Heval Mohamed-Kelli, Wesley T. O'Neal, Matthew Topel, Nima Ghasemzadeh, Yi An Ko, Hiroshi Aida, Mazen Gafeer, Laurence Sperling, Viola Vaccarino, Yongliang Liang, Dean P. Jones, Arshed A. Quyyumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Oxidative stress (OS) may be a key mechanism underlying the development of atrial fibrillation (AF) in experimental studies, but data in humans remain limited. Objective Systemic OS can be estimated by measurements of circulating levels of the aminothiols including glutathione, cysteine, and their oxidized products. We tested the hypothesis that the redox potentials of glutathione (EhGSH) and cysteine will be associated with prevalent and incident AF. Methods Plasma levels of aminothiols were measured in 1439 patients undergoing coronary angiography, of whom 148 (10.3%) had a diagnosis of AF. After a median follow-up of 6.3 years, 104 of 917 patients (11.5%) developed incident AF. Multivariate logistic regression and Cox regression models were used to determine whether OS markers were independent predictors of prevalent and incident AF after adjustment for traditional risk factors, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level. Results For each 10% increase in EhGSH, the odds of prevalent AF was 30% higher (odds ratio [OR] 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–1.7; P =.02) and 90% higher (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.3–2.7; P =.004) when the median was used as a cutoff. The EhGSH level above the median was more predictive of chronic AF (OR 4.0; 95% CI 1.3–12.9; P =.01) than of paroxysmal AF (OR 1.7; 95% CI 1.1–2.7; P =.03). Each 10% increase in EhGSH level was associated with a 40% increase in the risk of incident AF (hazard ratio 1.4; 95% CI 1.1–1.7; P =.01). Conclusion Increased OS measured by the redox potentials of glutathione is associated with prevalent and incident AF. Therapies that modulate OS need to be investigated to treat and prevent AF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1855
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Glutathione
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Redox potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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