Consumption of fried foods and risk of atrial fibrillation in the Physicians' Health Study

  • Owais KhawajaEmail author
  • Howard D. Sesso
  • Jiaying Chen
  • Hiroshi Yamasaki
  • Sohail A. Hassan
  • John M. Gaziano
  • Luc Djoussé
Original Contribution



Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a frequently encountered cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice. While fried food consumption is common in United States, little is known about the association between fried food consumption and incident AF.


We prospectively examined the association of fried food consumption with incident AF in 18,941 US male physicians. Fried food consumption was assessed via a self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Incident AF was ascertained through yearly follow-up questionnaires. Cox regression was used to estimate relative risks of AF.


The average age at baseline was 66 ± 9 years. During a mean follow up of 9.0 ± 3.0 years, 2099 new cases of AF occurred. Using < 1/week of fried food consumption as the reference group, multivariable adjusted hazard ratios ( 95% confidence interval) for AF were 1.07 (0.97, 1.18) and 1.03 (0.91, 1.17), for people reporting an average fried food consumption of 1–3/week and ≥ 4/week, respectively, p linear trend 0.4. In a secondary analysis, the results did not change after exclusion of participants with prevalent coronary heart disease or congestive heart failure. Lastly, the source of fried food (away from home or at home) did not influence the relation of fried food with AF risk.


In conclusion, our study does not provide evidence for an association between fried food consumption and incident AF among US male physicians.


Fried food Atrial fibrillation Diet Risk factors Epidemiology 



We are indebted to the participants in the PHS for their outstanding commitment and cooperation and to the entire PHS staff for their expert and unfailing assistance. This work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R21 HL088081 to L.D.). The Physicians' Health Study is supported by Grants CA-34944, CA-40360 and CA-097193 from the National Cancer Institute and grants HL-26490, and HL-34595, from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD. Funding agencies play no role in the data collection, analysis and manuscript preparation. Acknowledgement to all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship: N/A.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that they have no competing interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CardiologySt John Hospital and Medical CenterDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Divisions of AgingBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Preventive MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology and Research Information Center (MAVERIC)Boston Veterans Affairs Healthcare SystemBostonUSA

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