Prognosis, disease progression, and treatment of atrial fibrillation patients during 1 year: follow-up of the Euro Heart Survey on atrial fibrillation

Eur Heart J. 2008 May;29(9):1181-9. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehn139. Epub 2008 Apr 7.


Aims: To gain insight in the prognosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) patients during 1-year follow-up in the Euro Heart Survey (EHS) on AF.

Methods and results: The EHS enrolled 5333 AF patients in 2003--2004. One-year follow-up data were available for 80%. Of first detected AF patients, 46% did not have a recurrence during 1 year, paroxysmal AF largely remained paroxysmal AF (80%), and 30% of persistent AF progressed to permanent AF. Many treatment changes occurred since baseline. Oral anticoagulation was started in 19% and discontinued in 16% of all patients. Of patients initially on rhythm control 27% did not receive rhythm control during follow-up, whereas 15% of patients initially on rate control received rhythm control. Mortality was highest in permanent AF (8.2%), but also substantial in first detected AF (5.7%). In multivariable analysis, sinus rhythm at baseline was associated with lower mortality, but no significant effect was observed regarding the application of either rhythm or rate control.

Conclusion: The EHS on AF provides unique prospective observational data on AF progression, long-term treatment, prognosis, and determinants of adverse outcome of the total clinical spectrum of AF in a European cardiology-based patient cohort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy
  • Atrial Fibrillation / mortality*
  • Disease Progression
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / drug therapy
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhage / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants