News | Stroke | June 28, 2017

Stroke History Higher in Asymptomatic Versus Symptomatic Atrial Fibrillation Patients

European study concludes screening needed to identify afib patients with no symptoms so that stroke prevention treatment can be given

Stroke History Higher in Asymptomatic Versus Symptomatic Atrial Fibrillation Patients

June 28, 2017 — Newly diagnosed asymptomatic atrial fibrillation patients have a higher rate of previous stroke than those with symptoms, according to results from the GLORIA-AF Registry presented at EHRA EUROPACE - CARDIOSTIM 2017. The findings highlight the need for screening to identify atrial fibrillation patients with no symptoms so that stroke prevention treatment can be given.

“Patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation have a five-fold increased risk of stroke compared to those without atrial fibrillation,” said lead author Dr. Steffen Christow, a cardiologist at Hospital Ingolstadt GmbH, Ingolstadt, Germany. “Strokes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation tend to be particularly severe and disabling, with about half of patients dying within one year.”

“Appropriate anticoagulant therapy substantially reduces the risk of stroke, but in many cases non-valvular atrial fibrillation is only diagnosed after a patient has had a stroke,” he continued. “When patients are unaware of their atrial fibrillation they remain untreated and unprotected from stroke.”

GLORIA-AF (Global Registry on Long-Term Oral Antithrombotic Treatment in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation) is a large, multinational, prospective registry program involving patients with newly diagnosed non-valvular atrial fibrillation. This sub-analysis compared characteristics between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in Western Europe.

The study included 6,011 consecutively enrolled patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation in Western Europe. Symptom status was defined by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) score: I-II asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic; III-IV symptomatic.

Two-thirds of patients (4,119) patients were asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic (hereafter referred to as ’asymptomatic‘) and one-third (1,892) were symptomatic at the time of diagnosis. A number of differences were observed between the two groups.

In terms of medical history, asymptomatic patients were twice as likely to have permanent atrial fibrillation (15.8 percent versus 8.3 percent) and more than twice as likely to have had a previous stroke (14.7 percent versus 6 percent) than patients in the symptomatic group. Asymptomatic and symptomatic patients had a similar number of stroke risk factors, as indicated by a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 3.3 in each group.

Christow said: “The finding of a higher rate of previous stroke in the asymptomatic patients despite no differences in the number of stroke risk factors may be explained by a longer but undiagnosed history of atrial fibrillation.”

“Our study found that in Western Europe, two-thirds of patients newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation were asymptomatic,” he continued. “Without detection, patients may not receive appropriate preventive therapy and remain at increased risk of stroke.”

Christow concluded: “These results underline the urgent need for public programs to detect atrial fibrillation in the general population.”

The study was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

For more information: www.escardio.org

Related Content

An example of the new generation of cardiac monitoring device that is replacing Holter monitoring is the Cardea Solo wearable sensor. The FDA-cleared device automatically analyzes data when the device is turned back into the physician's office and automatically produces a draft summary report. This technology can simplify the workflow by eliminating the need for third-party involvement.

Feature | Atrial Fibrillation | September 13, 2018
Rapid advances in technology to monitor atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib) are enabling clinicians to access real-time
Atrial Fibrillation Patients Diagnosed With Carotid Atery Disease Face Increased Risk of Dementia

Image courtesy of Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute

News | Atrial Fibrillation | May 24, 2018
Atrial fibrillation patients who are diagnosed with carotid artery disease face higher risks for developing dementia,...
Botulinum Toxin (botox) Injection in CABG Patients Reduces AFib After Cardiac Surgery. #HRS2018

Figure 1: At the end of 36 months, the incidence of any atrial tachyarrhythmia was 23.3 percent in the botox group, as compared to 50 percent in the placebo group

News | Atrial Fibrillation | May 18, 2018
 
Atrial fibrillation ablation using the Abbott Ensite electro mapping system. CABANA Trial Confirms Ablation Equal To or Superior to Drug Therapy. #HRS2018

Atrial fibrillation ablation using the Abbott Ensite electro mapping system.

Feature | Atrial Fibrillation | May 17, 2018
May 16, 2018 – The first results of the randomized, multicenter, long-term, international...
Link Found Between Post-Traumatic Stress, Increased Risk of AFib. #HRS2018
News | Atrial Fibrillation | May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018 — A new study is the first to report a relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and ne
Marijuana Use Does Not Increase Risk of Arrhythmias, Might Reduce AFib Risk. #HRS2018
News | Atrial Fibrillation | May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018 — According to new research, smoking marijuana may not be associated with an increased risk of ventricul
First Results Reported from AVIATOR 2 Registry for AFib Patients Undergoing PCI.

Photo courtesy of the American Heart Association

News | Atrial Fibrillation | May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018 – Results of the AVIATOR 2 international registry data show a discrepancy between physician perception a
New Combined Risk Score More Effectively Predicts Stroke Risk in AFib Patients

Image courtesy of Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute

News | Atrial Fibrillation | May 11, 2018
A new study finds that integrating two separate clinical risk score models more accurately helps clinicians assess the...
Depression Linked to Increased Atrial Fibrillation Risk
News | Atrial Fibrillation | March 27, 2018
March 27, 2018 — Depression may increase the risk for...
Overlay Init