In a publication in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Clinical Electrophysiology, researchers sought to examine the association between health status and subsequent clinical events among patients with AFib.

For this study, researchers conducted a multicenter prospective study involving patients with new-onset AFib who completed the disease-specific Atrial Fibrillation Effects on Quality-of-Life (AFEQT) questionnaire. The participants were referred to 11 hospitals (n = 3,313, 68.4% men, average age 67.8 ± 11.6 years). A total of 3,296 patients completed the AFEQT questionnaire.

The researchers examined factors linked with baseline AFEQT-Overall Summary (OS) scores and correlations between major adverse cardiovascular or neurological events (MACNE: a composite of all-cause death, stroke, or new-onset heart failure [HF] hospitalization) over 2 years.

The results revealed that at baseline of the 3,296 patients, 517 (16%) patients had poor-to-fair health status (AFEQT-OS <60), and 1,035 (31%) had fair-to-good health status (AFEQT-OS 60-<80). Additionally, lower AFEQT-OS scores were associated with female gender, younger age, family history of AFib, higher baseline heart rate, paroxysmal AFib, initial visit to the emergency department, and history of HF.

During the follow-up, 226 (6.8%) participants experienced MACNE, and there was a nonlinear rise in the risk of MACNE with AFEQT-OS scores <80. The most robust links were detected for baseline AFEQT-daily activity scores.

Based on their findings, the authors noted that patients with earlier stages of AFib (e.g., younger age or paroxysmal AFib), female gender, and HF have more impaired disease-specific health status and measuring patient-reported outcomes in individuals with AFib could assist in providing unique prognostic information in this patient population.

The authors concluded that reduced health status in patients with AFib is a frequent occurrence and is independently correlated with subsequent adverse cardiovascular events.

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