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Population trends in all‐cause mortality and cause specific–death with incident atrial fibrillation

Singh SM, Abdel-Qadir H, Pang A, Fang J, Koh M, Dorian P, Wijeysundera HC, Ko DT. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020; 9(19):e016810. Epub 2020 Sep 13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.016810


Background — Limited studies have evaluated population‐level temporal trends in mortality and cause of death in patients with contemporary managed atrial fibrillation. This study reports the temporal trends in 1‐year overall and cause‐specific mortality in patients with incident atrial fibrillation.

Methods and Results — Patients with incident atrial fibrillation presenting to an emergency department or hospitalized in Ontario, Canada, were identified in population‐level linked administrative databases that included data on vital statistics and cause of death. Temporal trends in 1‐year all‐cause and cause‐specific mortality was determined for individuals identified between April 1, 2007 (fiscal year [FY] 2007) and March 31, 2016 (FY 2015). The study cohort consisted of 110 302 individuals, 69±15 years of age with a median congestive heart failure, hypertension, age (≥75 years), diabetes mellitus, stroke (2 points), vascular disease, age (≥65 years), sex category (female) score of 2.8. There was no significant decline in the adjusted 1‐year all‐cause mortality between the first and last years of the study period (adjusted mortality: FY 2007, 8.0%; FY 2015, 7.8%; P for trend=0.68). Noncardiovascular death accounted for 61% of all deaths; the adjusted 1‐year noncardiovascular mortality rate rose from 4.5% in FY 2007 to 5.2% in FY 2015 (P for trend=0.007). In contrast, the 1‐year cardiovascular mortality rate decreased from 3.5% in FY 2007 to 2.6% in FY 2015 (P for trend=0.01).

Conclusions — Overall 1‐year all‐cause mortality in individuals with incident atrial fibrillation has not improved despite a significant reduction in the rate of cardiovascular death. These findings highlight the importance of recognizing and managing concomitant noncardiovascular conditions in patients with atrial fibrillation.

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