Background: New-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is associated with poor short- and long-term outcomes after isolated coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). This study evaluated whether new-onset POAF is independently associated with long-term (>1 year) atrial fibrillation (AF) and mortality.
Methods: Among 1,171 consecutive patients who had undergone CABG, AF and mortality were compared between patients with POAF (POAF group, n = 244) and those without POAF (no-POAF group, n = 927) after propensity score matching.
Results: During the follow-up period of 41 ± 23 months (range 0-87 months), the POAF group had a higher incidence of total (20/927 [2.2%] vs 46/244 [18.9%], P < .001) and long-term AF recurrence (13/927 [1.4%] vs 25/244 [10.2%], P < .001). Even after propensity score matching, the POAF group still showed a higher incidence of total (7/244 [2.9%] vs 46/224 [18.9%], P < .001) and long-term AF recurrence (4/244 [1.6%] vs 25/224 [10.2%], P < .001). In addition, the POAF group had a lower cumulative survival free of long-term AF than the no-POAF group (P < .001). In competing risk regression, POAF was an independent predictor of long-term newly developed AF (hazard ratio 4.99, 95% CI 1.68-14.84, P = .004). Cumulative survival free of death was worse in patients with POAF (P = .01).
Conclusions: New-onset POAF was shown to be a predictor of long-term newly developed AF in CABG patients. The results of this study suggest that patients who develop POAF should undergo strict surveillance and routine screening for AF during follow-up after surgery.
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