NHLBI TOPMed: Novel Risk Factors for the Development of Atrial Fibrillation in Women
The Women's Genome Health Study (WGHS) is a prospective cohort comprised of over 25,000 initially healthy female health professionals enrolled in the Women's Health Study, which began in 1992-1994. All participants in WGHS provided baseline blood samples and extensive survey data. Women who reported atrial fibrillation during the course of the study were asked to report diagnoses of AF at baseline, 48 months, and then annually thereafter. Participants enrolled in the continued observational follow-up who reported an incident AF event on at least one yearly questionnaire were sent an additional questionnaire to confirm the episode and to collect additional information. They were also asked for permission to review their medical records, particularly available ECGs, rhythm strips, 24-hour ECGs, and information on cardiac structure and function. For all deceased participants who reported AF during the trial and extended follow-up period, family members were contacted to obtain consent and additional relevant information. An end-point committee of physicians reviewed medical records for reported events according to predefined criteria. An incident AF event was confirmed if there was ECG evidence of AF or if a medical report clearly indicated a personal history of AF. The earliest date in the medical records when documentation was believed to have occurred was set as the date of onset of AF.