Aims: Although overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), the underlying mechanisms are not well characterised. Recent data suggest that this link may be partly due to abnormal adipose tissue-derived cytokines or adipokines. However, this relationship is not well clarified. To evaluate the association between adipokines and AF in a systematic review and meta-analysis. Data synthesis: PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science Core Collection were searched from inception through 1st March 2021. Studies were included if they reported any adipokine and AF, with their quality assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Data were independently abstracted, with unadjusted and multivariable adjusted estimates pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis. Data are presented for overall prevalent or incident AF and AF subtypes (paroxysmal, persistent, or non-paroxysmal AF). A total of 34 studies, with 31,479 patients, were included. The following adipokines were significantly associated with AF in the pooled univariate data — apelin (risk ratio for prevalent AF: 0.05 [0.00–0.50], p = 0.01; recurrent AF: 0.21 [0.11–0.42], p < 0.01) and resistin (incident AF: 2.05 [1.02–4.1], p = 0.04; prevalent AF: 2.62 [1.78–3.85], p < 0.01). Pooled analysis of multivariable adjusted effect size estimates showed adiponectin as the sole independent predictor of AF incidence (1.14 [1.02–1.27], p = 0.02). Moreover, adiponectin was associated with non-paroxysmal AF (persistent AF: 1.45 [1.08–1.94, p = 0.01; non-paroxysmal versus paroxysmal AF: 3.14 [1.87–5.27, p < 0.01). Conclusions: Adipokines, principally adiponectin, apelin, and resistin, are associated with the risk of atrial fibrillation. However, the association is not seen after multivariate adjustment, likely reflecting the lack of statistical power. Future research should investigate these relationships in larger prospective cohorts and how they can refine AF monitoring strategies. PROSPERO ID: CRD42020208879.
- Atrial Fibrillation