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AIMS:We evaluated the associations of left atrial (LA) structure and function with prevalent and incident cardiovascular disease (CVD), independent of left ventricular (LV) metrics, in 25 896 UK Biobank participants. METHODS AND RESULTS:We estimated the association of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) metrics [LA maximum volume (LAV), LA ejection fraction (LAEF), LV mass : LV end-diastolic volume ratio (LVM : LVEDV), global longitudinal strain, and LV global function index (LVGFI)] with vascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking), prevalent and incident CVDs [atrial fibrillation (AF), stroke, ischaemic heart disease (IHD), myocardial infarction], all-cause mortality, and CVD mortality. We created uncorrelated CMR variables using orthogonal principal component analysis rotation. All five CMR metrics were simultaneously entered into multivariable regression models adjusted for sex, age, ethnicity, deprivation, education, body size, and physical activity. Lower LAEF was associated with diabetes, smoking, and all the prevalent and incident CVDs. Diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol were associated with smaller LAV. Hypertension, IHD, AF (incident and prevalent), incident stroke, and CVD mortality were associated with larger LAV. LV and LA metrics were both independently informative in associations with prevalent disease, however LAEF showed the most consistent associations with incident CVDs. Lower LVGFI was associated with greater all-cause and CVD mortality. In secondary analyses, compared with LVGFI, LV ejection fraction showed similar but less consistent disease associations. CONCLUSION:LA structure and function measures (LAEF and LAV) demonstrate significant associations with key prevalent and incident cardiovascular outcomes, independent of LV metrics. These measures have potential clinical utility for disease discrimination and outcome prediction.

Original publication




Journal article


European heart journal. Cardiovascular Imaging

Publication Date



William Harvey Research Institute, NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.