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Prevalence and risk factors for atrial fibrillation and stroke among elderly patients hospitalized in a rehabilitation center

The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and stroke in elderly patients hospitalized in a rehabilitation center. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the association between AF (or stroke) and age, gender, hypertension, diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Chronic Heart Failure (CHF), Left Atrium (LA) diameter, warfarin treatment, alcohol consumption, liver dysfunction, smoking and other factors. In this retrospective study, a total of 587 subjects were enrolled from one rehabilitation center (59% men, mean age 76.6 years), with long-term bedridden patients comprising a majority of the sample population (84.8%). During the 3-year study, 54 cases of AF (9.2%) and 49 cases of stroke (8.3%) were documented. Gender was not associated the incidence of AF, although female patients had a significantly higher incidence of stroke (P=0.003). Our results show that age, hypertension, diabetes, COPD, LA diameter and CHF were associated with AF (P<0.05). Age, AF, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, heart disease, smoking, and treatment with warfarin or statins were associated with stroke (P<0.05). Age, hypertension and CHF were independent risk factors of AF, whereas hypertension and AF were independent predictors of stroke in this cohort. Our data suggest the necessity for a geriatric rehabilitative approach that implements comprehensive strategies for both disease managements and preventions of AF and stroke.

Author(s): Ju-fei Wang, Ming-jun Feng, Xiao-min Chen, Hui-min Chu