The prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation in patients with acute pulmonary embolism

Austin Chin Chwan Ng, Dona Adikari, David Yuan, Jerrett K. Lau, Andy Sze Chiang Yong, Vincent Chow, Leonard Kritharides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Symptomatic pulmonary embolism (PE) is a major cause of cardiovascular death and morbidity. Estimated prevalence and incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in developed countries are between 388-661 per 100,000, and 90-123 per 100,000 person-years respectively. However, the prevalence and incidence of AF in patients presenting with an acute PE and its predictors are not clear. Methods: Individual patient clinical details were retrieved from a database containing all confirmed acute PE presentations to a tertiary institution from 2001-2012. Prevalence and incidence of AF was tracked from a population registry by systematically searching for AF during any hospital admission (2000-2013) based on International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) code. Results: Of the 1,142 patients included in this study, 935 (81.9%) had no AF during index PE admission whilst 207 patients had documented baseline AF (prevalence rate 18,126 per 100,000; age-adjusted 4,672 per 100,000). Of the 935 patients without AF, 126 developed AF post- PE (incidence rate 2,778 per 100,000 person-years; age-adjusted 984 per 100,000 person-years). Mean time from PE to subsequent AF was 3.4 ± 2.9 years. Total mortality (mean follow- up 5.0 ± 3.7 years) was 42% (n = 478): 35% (n = 283), 59% (n = 119) and 60% (n = 76) in the no AF, baseline AF and subsequent AF cohorts respectively. Independent predictors for subsequent AF after acute PE include age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.08, p<0.001), history of congestive cardiac failure (HR 1.88, 95% CI 1.12- 3.16, p = 0.02), diabetes (HR 1.72, 95% CI 1.07-2.77, p = 0.02), obstructive sleep apnea (HR 4.83, 1.48-15.8, p = 0.009) and day-1 serum sodium level during index PE admission (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90-0.98, p = 0.002). Conclusions: Patients presenting with acute PE have a markedly increased age-adjusted prevalence and subsequent incidence of AF. Screening for AF may be of importance post-PE.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0150448
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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