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Seasonal Variation in Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation: A Systematic Review


A variety of cardiovascular diseases have been demonstrated to have seasonal variations with peaks in the winter and troughs in the summer. Studies regarding atrial fibrillation (AF) have had varying results and this review describes the current data regarding the seasonal variation of AF and mechanisms mediating this seasonal fluctuation.



A systematic review was conducted of PubMed, EBSCO and OVID for manuscripts describing the association between seasonal variation and the occurrence of AF. Studies meeting eligibility criteria were assessed for quality and reporting bias.  Data was extracted in regards to the following associations: seasonal variation and AF paroxysms, temperature and AFparoxysms, duration of daylight and AF paroxysms, barometric pressure and AF paroxysms, alcohol and AF paroxysms, as well as seasonal variation and AF related stroke.



A total of 15 studies were identified for inclusion. Of these, 11 studies assessed seasonal variation and the remaining 4 studies assessed seasonal variation in AF related stroke. AF paroxysms peaked in winter with a trough in summer. There was an inverse correlation between temperatures as well barometric pressure and the occurrence of AF paroxysms and a positive correlation with duration of daylight.



The rate of occurrence of paroxysmal AF varies by seasons and is greatest during winter and least in summer.



Credits: Dr. Rohit S. Loomba

Biosense Webster
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Introduction to AFib
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