Diabetes mellitus is a strong, independent risk for atrial fibrillation and flutter in addition to other cardiovascular disease.

Int J Cardiol. 2005 Dec 7;105(3):315-8; discussion 319-21.  

Movahed MR, Hashemzadeh M, Jamal MM.
Division of Cardiology, University of California, Irvine, Medical Center Department of Medicine, 101 The City Drive, Bldg. 53, Rm 100, Orange, CA 92868, United States. rmova@aol.com 

BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis. There is a controversy in literature about correlation between DM and atrial fibrillation. The goal of this study was to evaluate DM as a risk factor for atrial fibrillation or flutter using a very large database. METHOD: Patient treatment files (PTF) containing discharge diagnoses were utilized using ICD-9 codes of inpatient treatment from Veterans Health Administration Hospitals (VAH). Patients with type II DM (ICD-9 code 250.0) (293,124) discharged from the VAH between 1990 and 2000. Non-matched controls without DM but with hypertension (552,624) were selected from the same PTF. By using multi-variate logistic regressions, the occurrence of atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, CHF, CAD and LVH was compared. RESULTS: Atrial fibrillations occurred in 43,674 (14.9%) DM patients vs. 57,077 (10.3%) in the control group (p<0.0001). Atrial flutter occurred in 11,852 (4%) of DM patients vs. 13,554 (2.5%) of the control group (p<0.0001). Using multi-variant analysis, DM remained independently associated with atrial fibrillation with an OR of 2.13, (95% CI: 2.10 to 2.16; p<0.0001) and flutter (OR 2.20, CI: 2.15 to 2.26; p<0.0001). Furthermore, CHF (OR 3.12, CI: 3.09 to 3.16; p<0.0001), LVH (OR 1.85, CI: 1.77 to 1.92; p<0.0001) and CAD (OR 2.39, CI: 2.34 to 2.44; p<0.0001) were also independently associated with DM. CONCLUSION: This is the first large-scale study finding DM as a strong, independent risk for the occurrence of atrial fibrillation and flutter and other cardiovascular disease.