Low-carbohydrate diets increase the risk for atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common disorder of heart rhythm, according to a poster presented at the American College of Cardiology's 68th Annual Scientific Session. Researchers tracked daily carbohydrate intake in 14,000 diet records from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and monitored incidences of heart arrhythmias. Those who consumed the least amount of carbohydrate increased the chance of developing AFib by 18 percent, compared with those who consumed the most carbohydrate. AFib is associated with a five-fold increased risk for stroke and may lead to heart failure. Carbohydrate restriction lowers intake of grains, fruits, and vegetables linked to reduced inflammation and may increase consumption of high-fat, high-protein foods associated with oxidative stress.
Zhuang X. U-shaped relationship between carbohydrate intake proportion and incident atrial fibrillation. Poster presented at: 68th American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session. March 16-18, 2019; New Orleans, LA.