Prevalence and the clinical outcome of atrial fibrillation in patients with Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease

Yong Soo Baek, Tae Hoon Kim, Jae Sun Uhm, Jong Yun Kim, Hui Nam Pak, Moon Hyoung Lee, Boyoung Joung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Systemic inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, little evidence exists whether the risk of AF is increased in autoimmune rheumatic disease (ARD). Methods: In 20,772 consecutive ARD patients (mean age 42 ± 17 years, 13,683 female) in a tertiary hospital from 2005 to 2015, AF prevalence, comorbidities and cardiovascular (CV) outcomes were evaluated. Results: AF was observed in 235 (1.1%) patients. The mean duration to AF diagnoses was 5.9 ± 2.4 years. Compared with patients without AF, AF patients were older, and had a higher CRP level (5.1 ± 0.7 vs. 2.7 ± 0.2 mg/L, p = 0.01), higher incidence of hypertension, heart failure and coronary artery disease. The AF prevalence was higher in inflammatory myositis (3.5%) and systemic sclerosis (2.3%) than that in other ARDs (all p < 0.05). In the multivariate analysis, the independent predictors of AF were an older age (HR 1.05, 95% CI: 1.04-1.06, p = 0.01), hypertension (HR 2.28, 95% CI: 1.70-3.06, p < 0.001), high CRP levels (HR 1.75, 95% CI: 1.07-2.86, p = 0.04), and heart failure (HR 11.96, 95% CI: 8.13-17.60, p = 0.03). During a mean follow-up period of 6.8 ± 4.5 years, ARD patients with AF had a higher all cause death (16.5% vs. 2.1%, p < 0.001) and incidence of strokes (1.9% vs. 0.4%, p = 0.001) than non-AF patients. Conclusions The incidence of AF in ARD was affected by specific disease and an inflammatory status manifested by the CRP level. AF in ARD was related to a higher mortality and strokes mandating meticulous follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-9
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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