Prevalence of atrial fibrillation and its associated factors in Spain: An analysis of 6 population-based studies. DARIOS Study

Rev Clin Esp (Barc). 2014 Dec;214(9):505-12. doi: 10.1016/j.rce.2014.06.006. Epub 2014 Jul 30.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Background and objectives: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of arrhythmia. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of atrial fibrillation and its relationship with cardiovascular risk factors in Spain.

Methodology: Cross-sectional study based on a grouped analysis of 17,291 randomized individuals recruited in 6 population studies.

Results: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation was 1.5% (95% CI:1.3-1.7%). Men had a greater prevalence of the disease than women (1.9 vs. 1.1%, respectively). The prevalence of atrial fibrillation progressively increased with age: 0.05% for patients younger than 45 years, 0.5% for those between 45-59 years of age, 2.3% for those between 60-74 years of age and 6.3% for those older than 75 years. The percentage of individuals who were underwent anticoagulant treatment was 74.3%. The risk factors significantly associated with arrhythmia were an age older than 60 years (odds ratio [OR]: 7.6; 95% CI: 5.1-11.2), the male sex (OR:1.8; 95% CI: 1.4-2.4), arterial hypertension (OR:1.6; 95% CI: 1.2-2.1), obesity (OR:1.5; 95% CI:1.2-2.1) and a history of coronary artery disease (OR:1.9; 95% CI: 1.3-3.0).

Conclusion: Atrial fibrillation is a common disease in elderly individuals, while its prevalence is low in individuals younger than 60 years. Most individuals with atrial fibrillation were on anticoagulant treatment. The risk factors for this type of arrhythmia are age, the male sex, hypertension, obesity and a history of coronary artery disease.

Keywords: Ancianos; Atrial fibrillation; Coronary artery disease; Elderly; Enfermedad coronaria; Epidemiology; Epidemiología; Fibrilación auricular; Género; Hipertensión; Hypertension; Obesidad; Obesity; Sex.