The prevalence of and factors associated with chronic atrial fibrillation in Medicare/Medicaid-eligible dialysis patients

Kidney Int. 2012 Mar;81(5):469-76. doi: 10.1038/ki.2011.416. Epub 2011 Dec 21.


Atrial fibrillation is an important comorbidity with substantial therapeutic implications in dialysis patients but its prevalence varies in different studies. We used a database that includes patients in the United States on hemodialysis who were eligible for government assistance with prescription drugs. We then used ICD-9 codes from billing claims in this database to identify patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine adjusted prevalence odds ratios for associated factors. Of 63,884 individuals, the prevalence of chronic atrial fibrillation was 7%. The factors of age over 60 years, male, Caucasian, body mass index over 25 kg/m(2), coronary artery disease, and heart failure were all significantly associated with chronic atrial fibrillation. Prevalence rates, particularly in younger patients, were far higher than those reported in an age group-matched nondialysis population. Thus, given its clinical impact, future efforts are needed to examine risk factors for adverse outcomes in chronic atrial fibrillation, and to identify appropriate management strategies for this disorder, as well as opportunities for quality improvement in this vulnerable population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chronic Disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Medicaid*
  • Medicare*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Racial Groups
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology