Objective To evaluate the epidemiology of atrial fibrillation (AF) in northeast China.
Methods This cross-sectional survey using a multistage, stratified and cluster random sampling method was conducted in Liaoning Province between September 2017 and March 2019. A total of 18 796 participants (28.9% urban, 71.1% rural) aged ≥40 years were included. All participants completed a questionnaire and underwent a physical examination and ECG. AF was diagnosed according to history and ECG findings.
Results The overall AF prevalence was 1.1%; it increased steeply with age. AF was more prevalent in men than in women (1.5% vs 0.9%, p<0.001); however, the difference between urban and rural areas was not significant (1.3% vs 1.1%, p=0.228). Among the AF population, the overall AF awareness rate was 52.6%, higher in women than in men (61.5% vs 44.1%, p=0.011); however, the difference between areas was not statistically significant (60.0% vs 49.0%, p=0.129). According to the CHA2DS-VASc score, almost all (90.2%, 194/215) of our subjects required oral anticoagulant (OAC) therapy; however, only 4.1% actually received it. Moreover, hypertension (66.5%), dyslipidaemia (32.6%) and diabetes (24.2%) were highly prevalent in patients with AF, but their control rates were unacceptably low (7.0%, 8.6% and 28.8%, respectively).
Conclusions The burden of AF in northeast China was substantial. Underuse of OAC therapy and uncontrolled comorbidities will likely contribute to the cardiovascular outcomes of patients with AF in the coming decades. Long-term management strategies for AF and related risk factors are required in northeast China.
- atrial fibrillation
- cardiac risk factors and prevention
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Contributors SL and LX were responsible for the concept and design of the study. LX was responsible for the study coordination and conduct. LX and SL contributed to the drafting of the manuscript. LJ, YT, ML and ZD collected and analysed the data. LX, HY, GR, YD, QS, DD, LS, HC and ZD interpreted the data.
Funding This study was supported by the Department of Science and Technology of Liaoning Province (2018225065) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81701699).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study was granted approval by the Central Ethics Committee at the China National Center for Cardiovascular Disease (Beijing, China). Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon request.
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