Racial differences affect atrial fibrillation risk

Researchers studied 14 million medical records in California between 2005 and 2009, finding non-Hispanic whites were at higher risk of arrhythmia, independent of conditions such as hypertension.

Compared to Caucasians’ AF risk, African Americans had a 16% lower risk, and Hispanics and Asian Americans both had a 22% lower risk, the researchers found.

The study suggested an “unidentified characteristic” inherent to whites increased AF risk, rather than blacks having some kind of protective mechanism, they said.