BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased long-term risk of stroke, heart failure, and mortality. Previous studies have demonstrated the suboptimal use of anticoagulation therapy in patients with AF.
METHODS: A retrospective survey of patients (N = 1,113) fitted with dual-chamber pacemakers found 71 patients (age 69 ± 35, mean ± standard deviation) with atrial tachycardia and AF (defined as >5 minutes per day). Their medical records and anticoagulation status were investigated and used to stratify each patient for stroke risk with the Birmingham 2009 schema (CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc) and assessed to determine the rate of appropriate thromboembolism (TE) prophylaxis prescription.
RESULTS: The most common overall concomitant risk factor for stroke was hypertension (54%), followed by age ≥75 (51%), being female and previous stroke/transient ischemic attack/TE (39%). The average CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score was 3.7 ± 1.6. Fifty-six percent of the patients were not receiving appropriate anticoagulation therapy.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates an underutilization of the oral anticoagulant warfarin in patients with known AF and that the clinicians may not be regarding current stroke risk factors when adopting a thromboprophylaxis strategy.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Heart Rate
- Middle Aged
- Pacemaker, Artificial
- Retrospective Studies
- Sex Factors
- Journal Article