ACC 2020 — Higher protein intake tied to lower risk for atrial fibrillation in women


  • Pavankumar Kamat
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Women who consume more protein in proportion to their weight may have a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation (Afib) over the next decade. 

Why this matters

  • Americans on average, get 15% of their total daily calories from protein.
  • However, consumption of a proportionally higher protein diet closer to 25% of total calories is likely to have greater health benefits. 

Study design

  • Secondary analysis of the data from 99,554 post-menopausal women (median age, 64.0 years) who participated in the Women's Health Initiative study.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • During a mean follow-up of 10.1 years, 21.3% of women developed Afib.
  • Compared with women in the lowest protein-intake quartile (
  • women who consumed 58-66 g/day of protein (HR, 0.932; P=.001); and
  • women who consumed 66-74 g/day of protein (HR, 0.908; P=.0005).
  • However, women in the highest protein-intake quartile (>74 g/day) did not have a significantly lower risk for Afib (HR, 0.951; P=.186).
  • The effect of protein intake on incident Afib was not significantly influenced by physical activity.
  • Limitations

    • The majority of participants were white.

    Expert commentary
    The presenter, Dr. Daniel A. Gerber, MD, from Stanford University, California, said: "To go from low to intermediate protein intake is not a huge amount. We're talking about eating 10 to 20 more grams of protein per day; that's only four ounces of healthy protein, such as chicken breast or salmon, a cup of Greek yogurt, or two eggs."