Much of the increased risk resulted from cardiovascular events occurring before death, the Swiss team found.
'There is a potential opportunity to improve the outcome of individuals with new-onset AF through both prevention and optimal management of associated co-morbidities,' they said.
A team from University Hospital, Basel, studied 33,000 women without AF at the start of the study. Over 15 years, 1,011 of them developed AF. They had a three-fold higher risk of all-cause mortality and a seven-fold higher risk of cardiovascular events.