Incidence of stroke among chronic hemodialysis patients with nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation

Am J Nephrol. Jan-Feb 2001;21(1):35-9. doi: 10.1159/000046216.


In general, nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation is associated with a high risk of stroke. However, its impact on stroke in the setting of chronic hemodialysis treatment is insufficiently addressed in the literature. We assessed the incidence of stroke among 430 chronic hemodialysis patients and the impact of atrial fibrillation and various other potential risk factors on stroke in a retrospective study covering 1,111.16 patient-years. The overall incidence of stroke was 3.78/100 patient-years. Among patients with chronic atrial fibrillation without any antithrombotic therapy besides regular dialysis anticoagulation, the stroke incidence was 1.0/100 patient-years and did not differ statistically significantly from the rate among patients without this arrhythmia, in whom the incidence was 2.8/100 patient-years (p = 0.220). Conversely, the overall rate of stroke incidence per 100 patient-years was statistically significantly higher in patients with diabetic nephropathy (6.46, p = 0.0036), age > 65 years (5.90, p = 0.0001), moderate to severe hypertension (6.8, p = 0.0017), weight gain of > 2 kg between dialyses as a marker of poor patient compliance (6.47, p = 0.0433), and antithrombotic therapy with salicylates or warfarin (8.33, p = 0.0002), as compared with corresponding groups without these risk factors. Our data suggest that in contrast to other risk factors nonrheumatic atrial fibrillation in itself is not associated with an increased risk of stroke in patients on maintenance hemodialysis treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / etiology