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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 275624, 7 pages
Research Article

African American Race and Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation:A Meta-Analysis

1Department of Internal Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, FL 33331, USA
2Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Florida, 2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd, Weston, FL 33331, USA
3Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA
4Quantitative Research Division, BioEstadistica, S.C., Monterrey, NL 66260, Mexico

Received 15 December 2011; Accepted 5 January 2012

Academic Editor: J. Brugada

Copyright © 2012 Marlow B. Hernandez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. It has been observed that African American race is associated with a lower prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) compared to Caucasian race. To better quantify the association between African American race and AF, we performed a meta-analysis of published studies among different patient populations which reported the presence of AF by race. Methods. A literature search was conducted using electronic databases between January 1999 and January 2011. The search was limited to published studies in English conducted in the United States, which clearly defined the presence of AF in African American and Caucasian subjects. A meta-analysis was performed with prevalence of AF as the primary endpoint. Results. In total, 10 studies involving 1,031,351 subjects were included. According to a random effects analysis, African American race was associated with a protective effect with regard to AF as compared to Caucasian race (odds ratio 0.51, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.59, 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 1 ). In subgroup analyses, African American race was significantly associated with a lower prevalence of AF in the general population, those hospitalized or greater than 60 years old, postcoronary artery bypass surgery patients, and subjects with heart failure. Conclusions. In a broad sweep of subjects in the general population and hospitalized patients, the prevalence of AF in African Americans is consistently lower than in Caucasians.