Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac dysrhythmia and contributes significantly to health care expenditures. We sought to assess the frequency and predictors of hospitalization in patients with AF.
Methods: The ORBIT-AF registry is a prospective, observational study of outpatients with AF enrolled from June 29, 2010, to August 9, 2011. The current analysis included 9,484 participants with 1-year follow-up. Multivariable, logistic regression was used to identify baseline characteristics that were associated with first cause-specific hospitalization.
Results: Overall, 31% of patients with AF studied (n = 2,963) had 1 or more hospitalizations per year and 10% (n = 983) had 2 or more. The most common hospitalization cause was cardiovascular (20 per 100 patient-years vs 3.3 bleeding vs 17 noncardiovascular, nonbleeding). Compared with those not hospitalized, hospitalized patients were more likely to have concomitant heart failure (42% vs 28%, P < .0001), higher mean CHADS2 (1 point for congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ≥75, or diabetes; 2 points for prior stroke or transient ischemic attack) scores (2.5 vs 2.2, P < .0001), and more symptoms (baseline European Heart Rhythm Association class severe symptoms 18% vs 13%, P < .0001). In multivariable analysis, heart failure (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.57 for New York Heart Association III/IV vs none, P < .0001), heart rate at baseline (adjusted HR 1.11 per 10-beats/min increase >66, P < .0001), and AF symptom class (adjusted HR 1.37 for European Heart Rhythm Association severe vs none, P < .0001) were the major predictors of incident hospitalization.
Conclusions: Hospitalization is common in outpatients with AF and is independently predicted by heart failure and AF symptoms. Improved symptom control, rate control, and comorbid condition management should be evaluated as strategies to reduce health care use in these patients.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01165710.
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