Obstructive sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation: insights from a bidirectional Mendelian randomization research

This article was originally published here

Med Genomics. 2022 Feb 16;15(1):28. doi: 10.1186/s12920-022-01180-5.


BACKGROUND: Observational studies have suggested that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is in relation to atrial fibrillation (AF); however, these studies might be confounded and whether the relationship is causal remains unclear. We conducted a Mendelian (MR) study to clarify the causal inference between OSA and AF.

METHODS: Genetic instruments for OSA and AF were obtained from genome-wide association studies. The fixed-effects inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method was used as the main method, supplemented by several sensitivity analyses. For replication, another AF dataset was used to validate the causal effect of OSA on AF. Furthermore, multivariable MR analyzes were performed to obtain direct estimates adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS: Genetic liability to OSA was found to be significantly associated with a higher AF risk in the fixed-effects IVW method [odds ratio (OR) 1.210; 95% CI 1.119-1.307; P = 1.51 × 10-6]. The results were consistent in MR sensitivity analyzes as well as in replication analyses, and the significance remained after adjusting for potential confounders. In the reverse MR analyses, there was no causal effect of AF on OSA.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study strengthened the causal of genetically predicted OSA with a higher AF risk. Early screening and appropriate management of OSA might show anti-arrhythmic benefits.

PMID:35172829 | DOI:10.1186/s12920-022-01180-5

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