New-onset atrial fibrillation in intensive care: epidemiology and outcomes
Bedford JP., Ferrando-Vivas P., Redfern O., Rajappan K., Harrison DA., Watkinson PJ., Doidge JC.
Abstract Aims New-onset atrial fibrillation (NOAF) is common in patients treated on an intensive care unit (ICU), but the long-term impacts on patient outcomes are unclear. We compared national hospital and long-term outcomes of patients who developed NOAF in ICU with those who did not, before and after adjusting for comorbidities and ICU admission factors. Methods and results Using the RISK-II database (Case Mix Programme national clinical audit of adult intensive care linked with Hospital Episode Statistics and mortality data), we conducted a retrospective cohort study of 4615 patients with NOAF and 27 690 matched controls admitted to 248 adult ICUs in England, from April 2009 to March 2016. We examined in-hospital mortality; hospital readmission with atrial fibrillation (AF), heart failure, and stroke up to 6 years post discharge; and mortality up to 8 years post discharge. Compared with controls, patients who developed NOAF in the ICU were at a higher risk of in-hospital mortality [unadjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.02–3.44], only partially explained by patient demographics, comorbidities, and ICU admission factors (adjusted OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.38–1.63). They were also at a higher risk of subsequent hospitalization with AF [adjusted cause-specific hazard ratio (aCHR) 5.86, 95% CI 5.33–6.44], stroke (aCHR 1.47, 95% CI 1.12–1.93), and heart failure (aCHR 1.28, 95% CI 1.14–1.44) independent of pre-existing comorbidities. Conclusion Patients who develop NOAF during an ICU admission are at a higher risk of in-hospital death and readmissions to hospital with AF, heart failure, and stroke than those who do not.