Ejection fraction and outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure: the Loire Valley Atrial Fibrillation Project

Eur J Heart Fail. 2012 Mar;14(3):295-301. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfs005. Epub 2012 Jan 30.


Aims: Heart failure (HF) increases the risk of stroke and thrombo-embolism (TE) in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), and is incorporated in stroke risk stratification scores. We aimed to establish the role of ejection fraction (EF) in risk prediction in patients with NVAF and HF.

Methods and results: Patients with NVAF, history of HF, and measured EF were included in a retrospective analysis. Patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) were defined as those with clinical HF and EF ≥50% in this study. Among 7156 patients with NVAF, 1276 (17.8%) patients with HF and measured EF were included. Of these, 747/1276 (58.5%) patients were on vitamin K antagonists. The stroke/TE event rate per 100 person-years was 1.05 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87-1.25]. Patients with HFPEF were more likely to be female (P < 0.001), older (P < 0.001), and hypertensive (P < 0.001), and less likely to have prior vascular disease (P < 0.001). There were no differences in rates of stroke (P = 0.17) and stroke/TE (P = 0.11) between patients with HFPEF and those with HF and reduced EF. There were no significant differences in rates of all-cause mortality when patients were stratified by EF. In multivariate analyses, only previous stroke (hazard ratio 2.36, 95% CI 1.45-3.86) and vascular disease (1.57, 1.07-2.30) increased the risk of stroke/TE amongst NVAF patients with HF, but EF <35% did not (0.75, 0.44-1.30).

Conclusion: In NVAF patients with HF, there were no differences in rates of stroke, TE, or death between EF categories. Only previous stroke and vascular disease (and not decreased EF) independently increased risk of stroke/TE in multivariate analyses.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / pathology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Program Evaluation
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Stroke Volume*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / complications
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / drug therapy*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / pathology
  • Ventricular Function, Left*