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Hospitalizations for AF Are on the Increase — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 20, 2014

Hospitalizations for AF Are on the Increase

By Larry Husten

Hospitalizations for atrial fibrillation (AF) are increasing, and this may have important implications for the delivery and economics of healthcare in the future, according to a Circulation study.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 4 million hospitalizations in which AF was the primary discharge diagnosis from 2000-2010. Among their findings:

  • Over the 10 years, the AF hospitalization rate increased by 14.4%, from 1552 to 1812 per million people.

  • Overall hospital mortality for AF was 1%. Mortality declined from 1.2% at the start of the study to 0.9% at the end.

  • There was a huge increase in the number of patients over the age of 80, with the rate increasing from 9,361 to 11,045 per million population, and these patients had a significantly higher in-hospital mortality rate. The authors write: "These figures are alarming as the number of persons aged >80 years is expected to increase from 11.4 million in 2008 to 19.5 million in 2030; which in turn will lead to an enormous increased burden on the public health system and associated cost of care."

Adapted from CardioExchange.

Reader Comments (1)

Elisabeth G. Wilson, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC Other Healthcare Professional, Family Medicine/General Practice, Physician office

I have had diagnosed intermittent A-fib for the past 2 years, in spite of a twenty year history of daily beta-blockers. Caffeine is my trigger for episodes of A-fib. Avoidance of caffeine usually curbs the frequency of these episodes.

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