Clinical characteristics and 12-month outcomes of patients with valvular and non-valvular atrial fibrillation in Kenya

PLoS One. 2017 Sep 21;12(9):e0185204. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185204. eCollection 2017.


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major contributor to the global cardiovascular disease burden. The clinical profile and outcomes of AF patients with valvular heart diseases in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have not been adequately described. We assessed clinical features and 12-month outcomes of patients with valvular AF (vAF) in comparison to AF patients without valvular heart disease (nvAF) in western Kenya.

Methods: We performed a cohort study with retrospective data gathering to characterize risk factors and prospective data collection to characterize their hospitalization, stroke and mortality rates.

Results: The AF patients included 77 with vAF and 69 with nvAF. The mean (SD) age of vAF and nvAF patients were 37.9(14.5) and 69.4(12.3) years, respectively. There were significant differences (p<0.001) between vAF and nvAF patients with respect to female sex (78% vs. 55%), rates of hypertension (29% vs. 73%) and heart failure (10% vs. 49%). vAF patients were more likely to be taking anticoagulation therapy compared to those with nvAF (97% vs. 76%; p<0.01). After 12-months of follow-up, the overall mortality, hospitalization and stroke rates for vAF patients were high, at 10%, 34% and 5% respectively, and were similar to the rates in the nvAF patients (15%, 36%, and 5%, respectively).

Conclusion: Despite younger age and few comorbid conditions, patients with vAF in this developing country setting are at high risk for nonfatal and fatal outcomes, and are in need of interventions to improve short and long-term outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Diseases / complications*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / complications
  • Young Adult