Cross-Sectional Associations between Homoarginine, Intermediate Phenotypes, and Atrial Fibrillation in the Community-The Gutenberg Health Study


Homoarginine has come into the focus of interest as a biomarker for cardiovascular disease. Atrial fibrillation (AF) causes a substantial increase in morbidity and mortality. Whether circulating homoarginine is associated with occurrence or persistence of AF and may serve as a new predictive biomarker remains unknown. We measured plasma levels of homoarginine in the population-based Gutenberg health study (3761 patients included, of them 51.7% males), mean age 55.6 ± 10.9 years-old. Associations between homoarginine and intermediate electrocardiographic and echocardiographic phenotypes and manifest AF were examined. Patients with AF (124 patients, of them 73.4% males) had a mean age 64.8 ± 8.6 years-old compared to a mean age of 55.3 ± 10.9 in the population without AF (p-value < 0.001) and showed a less beneficial risk factor profile. The median homoarginine levels in individuals with and without AF were 1.9 μmol/L (interquartile range (IQR) 1.5⁻2.5) and 2.0 μmol/L (IQR 1.5⁻2.5), respectively, p = 0.56. In multivariable-adjusted regression analyses homoarginine was not statistically significantly related to electrocardiographic variables. Among echocardiographic variables beta per standard deviation increase was -0.12 (95% confidence interval (CI) -0.23⁻(-0.02); p = 0.024) for left atrial area and -0.01 (95% CI -0.02⁻(-0.003); p = 0.013) for E/A ratio. The odds ratio between homoarginine and AF was 0.91 (95% CI 0.70⁻1.16; p = 0.45). In our large, population-based cross-sectional study, we did not find statistically significant correlations between lower homoarginine levels and occurrence or persistence of AF or most standard electrocardiographic phenotypes, but some moderate inverse associations with echocardiographic left atrial size and E/A. Homoarginine may not represent a strong biomarker to identify individuals at increased risk for AF. Further investigations will be needed to elucidate the role of homoarginine and cardiac function.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30.08.2018
PubMed 30200232