Recent findings suggest that patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), in addition being at thromboembolic risk, are at risk of myocardial infarction (MI). Our aim was to investigate predictors of MI and cardiovascular death in a cohort of patients with AF who were taking anticoagulants.
We prospectively followed up 1,019 patients with AF for a median of 33.7 months (3,223 person-years). All patients were treated with oral vitamin K antagonists. Primary outcome was a composite end point of cardiovascular events (CVEs) including fatal/nonfatal MI, cardiac revascularization, and cardiovascular death.
The mean age of the patients was 73.2 years, and 43.8% were women. At follow-up, 111 CVEs (3.43%/y) had occurred: 47 fatal-nonfatal MI/revascularization and 64 cardiovascular deaths. In addition, 31 stroke/transient ischemic attacks (0.96%/y) were recorded. Patients experiencing CVEs were older (P < .001) and had a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) (P = .005), heart failure (P = .001), and prior cardiac (P < .001) and cerebrovascular events (P < .001). On a Cox proportional hazard analysis, age (hazard ratio [HR], 1.083; 95% CI, 1.053-1.113; P < .001), smoking (HR, 2.158; 95% CI, 1.193-3.901; P = .011), history of cerebrovascular (HR, 1.704; 95% CI, 1.119-2.597; P = .013) and cardiac (HR, 1.658; 95% CI, 1.105-2.489; P = .015) events, MetS (HR, 1.663; 95% CI, 1.107-2.499; P = .014), heart failure (HR, 1.584; 95% CI, 1.021-2.456; P = .040), and male sex (HR, 1.499; 95% CI, 1.010-2.223; P = .044) predicted CVEs.
Patients with AF still experience a high rate of CVEs despite receiving anticoagulant treatment. MetS is a common clinical feature in patients with AF, which increases the risk of CVEs. A holistic approach is needed to reduce the cardiovascular risk in patients with AF.
ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT01882114; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov