Atrial Fibrillation Associated With Wide Range of Cardiovascular Events Interview with:
Ayodele Odutayo, DPhil student
Centre for Statistics in Medicine
Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of all cause mortality and stroke, as well as higher medical costs and a reduced quality of life. The association between atrial fibrillation and cardiovascular outcomes other than stroke is less clear.

We found that atrial fibrillation is associated with a wide range of cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular mortality, major cardiovascular events, heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and sudden cardiac death, as well as stroke and all cause mortality. The relative and absolute risk increase associated with many of these events is greater than that of stroke. Interventions are needed to reduce the risk of non-stroke cardiovascular outcomes in adults with atrial fibrillation. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Reducing the burden of non-stroke events in adults with atrial fibrillation would benefit from a focus on primary prevention and management of cardiovascular risk factors. This includes controlling risk factors such as hypertension. There are huge gaps in the number of adults who are treated with blood pressure lowering medications and have their blood pressure controlled.

This effort should be patient centred, involving shared decision making. Regular patient updates should also be provided to patients after lifestyle changes and/or pharmacotherapy have begun as a way to encourage further progress. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies on atrial fibrillation should include these non-stroke outcomes and particularly heart failure. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Odutayo Ayodele, Wong Christopher X, HsiaoAllan J, Hopewell Sally, Altman Douglas G, EmdinConnor A et al. Atrial fibrillation and risks of cardiovascular disease, renal disease, and death: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ 2016;354 :i4482

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on September 12, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD