Title: Atrial fibrillation: A prospective population study of risk factors and complications. The Tromsø Study.
Funding: A 4 year grant from UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Main supervisor: Maja-Lisa Løchen
Co supervisors: Henrik Schirmer, Laila A. Hopstock, Bjarne K. Jacobsen
Evaluation committee: Renate Schnabel (Hamburg), Grethe Tell (UiB) og Torkjel Sandanger (UiT)
Acting dean: Vinjar Fønnebø
Atrial fibrillation is a common heart disease and may increase the risk of serious health complications. In the population based Tromsø Study we investigated which risk factors increased the risk of future atrial fibrillation, and which complications people with atrial fibrillation get by following them over many years. Our focus was particularly the size of the heart’s left atrium as an atrial fibrillation risk factor, atrial fibrillation as risk factor for stroke, and cognitive function decline in subjects without stroke. We found that enlarged left atrium size of the heart as measured by echocardiography gave a fourfold increased risk for atrial fibrillation in both sexes. In addition, individuals with enlarged left atrium and at least one risk factor for stroke had nine times higher stroke risk irrespective of whether they had atrial fibrillation or not. In stroke free participants, subjects with atrial fibrillation had 40% increased cognitive decline.
Articles included in the thesis:
Tiwari S, Schirmer H, Jacobsen BK, Hopstock LA, Nyrnes A, Heggelund G, Njølstad I, Mathiesen EB, Løchen ML. Association between diastolic dysfunction and future atrial fibrillation in the Tromsø Study from 1994 to 2010. Heart. 2015 Aug;101(16):1302-8. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2015-307438.
Tiwari S, Løchen ML, Jacobsen BK, Hopstock LA, Nyrnes A, Njølstad I, Mathiesen EB, Schirmer H. CHA2DS2-VASc score, left atrial size and atrial fibrillation as stroke risk factors in the Tromsø Study. Open Heart. 2016 Sep 6;3(2):e000439. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2016-000439.
Tiwari S, Løchen ML, Jacobsen BK, Hopstock LA, Nyrnes A, Njølstad I, Mathiesen EB, Arntzen KA, Ball J, Stewart S, Wilsgaard T, Schirmer H. Atrial fibrillation is associated with cognitive decline in stroke-free subjects: the Tromsø Study. Eur J Neurol. 2017 Dec;24(12):1485-1492. doi: 10.1111/ene.13445.