Predictors of progression of recently diagnosed atrial fibrillation in REgistry on Cardiac Rhythm DisORDers Assessing the Control of Atrial Fibrillation (RecordAF)-United States cohort

Am J Cardiol. 2013 Jul 1;112(1):79-84. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.02.056. Epub 2013 Apr 2.


The progression of atrial fibrillation (AF) to a more sustained form is associated with increased symptoms and morbidity. The aims of the REgistry on Cardiac Rhythm DisORDers Assessing the Control of Atrial Fibrillation (RecordAF)-United States (US) cohort study were to identify the risk factors of AF progression and the effects of management approaches. RecordAF is the first worldwide, 1-year observational study of the treatment of community-based patients with recent-onset AF. We assessed AF progression at 12 months in the US cohort. AF progression was defined as a change of AF to a more sustained form (either paroxysmal becoming persistent or permanent, or persistent becoming permanent). The US cohort included 955 patients, with mean age of 68.9 years; 56.8% were men and 88.8% were white. At entry, 59.6% of patients were selected for rate-control and 40.4% for rhythm-control therapy. At 12 months, the management strategy was unchanged for 68.2% of the patients in the rate- and 77.7% of the patients in the rhythm-control groups. Overall, AF progression had occurred in 18.6% of patients at 12 months. The progression rate was significantly greater in the rate-control (27.6%) than in the rhythm-control (5.8%) group (p <0.001). Progression to permanent AF occurred in 16.4% of patients. In addition to a rate-control strategy, older age, AF rhythm at entry, persistent AF at baseline, and a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack independently predicted AF progression. Rate control was associated with AF progression, with a propensity score adjusted odds ratio of 2.67 (p <0.001). In conclusion, rate control was the preferred treatment of recent-onset AF in the US but was associated with more AF progression than rhythm control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Propensity Score
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents