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Palpitations are predictive of future atrial fibrillation
Date:5/15/2012

A large cohort study has found that the strongest risk factors for atrial fibrillation in both men and women were a history of palpitations and hypertension.(1) While hypertension is a well known risk factor for AF, the investigators note that "the impact of self-reported palpitations on later occurrence of AF has not been documented earlier".

Atrial fibrillation is currently the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is a major risk factor for heart failure (risk tripled), stroke (risk increased up to five times) and overall mortality (risk doubled). A recent consensus statement described AF as "one of the major common and chronic disorders in modern cardiology", adding that mortality and morbidity associated with AF "remain unacceptably high".(2)

The emergence of palpitations as a risk factor for AF is reported today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, with results from the Troms Study, a large prospective follow-up of the general population of this region of Norway. Participants in this study were recruited in 1994-95 and included all inhabitants in the region over the age of 25. After exclusions, 22,815 people aged between 25 and 96 were included and followed up for a mean time of 11.1 years. Mean age at baseline was 46 years.

Information on palpitations was included at baseline along with measurements of height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. All subjects were cross-linked to the local diagnostic registry and to the national death register for information on AF documented by electrocardiogram (ECG). Hospital records were searched for subjects with diagnoses of cerebrovascular or cardiovascular events but without a recorded registry diagnosis of arrhythmia.

Results showed that AF was recorded in 361 women (3.0%) and 461 men (4.2%) during the 11.1 years of follow-up, an incidence rate of 2.71 per thousand per year for women and 3.87 for men.
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Contact: Jacqueline Partarrieu
press@escardio.org
33-492-947-756
European Society of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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