Objectives Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common serious cardiac arrhythmia, and its prevalence is expected to increase. There is lack of data about patient characteristics, practice patterns, and outcomes of AF in Chinese patients.
Methods The Chinese AF registry is a prospective, observational registry of AF patients which present to emergency department (ED) either as primary or secondary diagnosis. Data collected included patient demographics, medical history, treatment and outcomes of emergency visit. For admitted patients, a follow-up was completed to obtain the major adverse events during 1 year.
Results From November 2008 to October 2011, 2016 consecutive patients were enrolled from twenty representative centres of China. The mean age was 68.5 years and 54.8% was female. AF was the primary reason for this ED visit in 40.9% and 80.9% had a known prior diagnosis of atrial fibrillation before. The most common concomitant condition was hypertension, present in 1118 (55.5%) patients. At enrollment, the rates of permanent, persistent and paroxysmal AF was 47%, 22.3%, and 30.7%, respectively. 1992 AF patients (98.8%) had completed 1 year follow-up. Of these, all cause mortality was 288 (14.5%) cases, stroke/ non-CNS systemic embolism was 159 (8.0%) cases, and major bleeding was 26 (1.3%) cases. Heart failure was the major cause of mortality, which accounted for 42.36% death. Of 375 (18.6%) patients used warfarin at baseline, only 217 patients was stick to anticoagulation therapy during 1 year follow-up. Compared with anticoagulation patients, the mortality rate of non-anticoagulation patients was much higher (15.7% vs 5.5%, p < 0.001), and the risk of stroke was also higher in those without anticoagulation although it was not statistically significant (8.4% vs 6.0%, p = 0.29).
Conclusions Hypertension was the most common complication in Chinese AF patients. Patients may benefit more from anticoagulant treatment and the anticoagulation rate was low in China.