Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are widespread diseases and have multiple common risk factors and comorbidities. No studies of association between ultrasonography-diagnosed NAFLD and AF exist in other than diabetic population. The goal of this prospective study was to study the value of NAFLD as a predictor of atrial fibrillation. This study had 958 subjects from the OPERA (Oulu Project Elucidating Risk of Atherosclerosis) cohort, and the mean follow-up time was 16.3 years. NAFLD was diagnosed if the subject had fatty liver in ultrasonography and no excess alcohol intake. AF was followed in the National Registers. In this study 249 subjects (26.0%) had NAFLD and 37 (14.9%) of these had AF whereas only 56 (7.9%) of those without NAFLD experienced AF during the follow-up time (p = 0.001). In the multiple Cox regression analysis including potential confounders (age, sex, study group, diabetes, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, alcohol consumption, smoking, serum alanine aminotransferase concentration (ALT), systolic blood pressure, quick index, left ventricular mass index, left atrial diameter, coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)), NAFLD remained as an independent predictor of AF (Adjusted OR, 1.88 (95% Confidence interval (CI) 1.03-3.45)). In conclusion, our data shows that NAFLD is independently associated with the risk of AF.