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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2017

Thiazolidinedione use and atrial fibrillation in diabetic patients: a meta-analysis

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2017
Zhiwei Zhang, Xiaowei Zhang, Panagiotis Korantzopoulos, Konstantinos P. Letsas, Gary Tse, Mengqi Gong, Lei Meng, Guangping Li, Tong Liu
Wichtige Hinweise
Zhiwei Zhang and Xiaowei Zhang contributed equally to this work.



Accumulating evidence suggests that thiazolidinediones (TZDs) may exert protective effects in atrial fibrillation (AF). The present meta-analysis investigated the association between TZD use and the incidence of AF in diabetic patients.


Electronic databases were searched until December 2016. Of the 346 initially identified records, 3 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 4 observational studies with 130,854 diabetic patients were included in the final analysis.


Pooled analysis of the included studies demonstrated that patients treated with TZDs had approximately 30% lower risk of developing AF compared to controls [odds ratio (OR): 0.73, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.62 to 0.87, p = 0.0003]. This association was consistently observed for both new onset AF (OR =0.77, p = 0.002) and recurrent AF (OR =0.41, p = 0.002), pioglitazone use (OR =0.56, p = 0.04) but not rosiglitazone use (OR =0.78, p = 0.12). The association between TZD use and AF incidence was not significant in the pooled analysis of three RCTs (OR =0.77, 95% CI = 0.53–1.12, p = 0.17), but was significantly in the pooled analysis of the four observational studies (OR =0.71, p = 0.0003).


This meta-analysis suggests that TZDs may confer protection against AF in the setting of diabetes mellitus (DM). This class of drugs can be used as upstream therapy for DM patients to prevent the development of AF. Further large-scale RCTs are needed to determine whether TZDs use could prevent AF in the setting of DM.
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