Surveillance for Outcomes Selected as Atrial Fibrillation Quality Indicators in Canada: 10-Year Trends in Stroke, Major Bleeding, and Heart Failure Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Whether advances in identification and management of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter (collectively, AF) have led to improved outcomes is unclear. We sought to study trends in clinical outcomes selected as quality indicators for nonvalvular AF in Canada. METHODS: We identified hospitalized patients with a first diagnosis of nonvalvular AF between April 2006 and March 2015, in all of Canada except Quebec. We assessed trends in 1-year incidence of stroke/systemic embolism (SSE), major bleeding, and initial heart failure (HF) hospitalization. RESULTS: The cohort included 466,476 patients. The median age was 77 years (interquartile range, 68-84 years), 46% were female, and 68% had a Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertension, Age (≥75 years), Diabetes, Stroke/Transient Ischemic Attack, Vascular Disease, Age (65-74 years), Sex (Female) (CHA2DS2-VASc) score > 3. Within 1 year of discharge, 3.5% were hospitalized for stroke or SSE, 1.6% for major bleeding, and 8.6% for new HF. Over the study period, the crude rate of SSE declined from 3.6% to 3.3% (P = 0.002), whereas the rates of hospitalization for new HF and for major bleeding did not significantly change. After adjustment for CHA2DS2-VASc score, the yearly rates of incident SSE (risk ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98-0.99; P = 0.002) and HF (risk ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.99-1.00; P = 0.001) declined ≤ 1% absolute, whereas major bleeding remained unchanged (risk ratio, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.99-1.00; P = 0.28). CONCLUSIONS: Among hospitalized patients with nonvalvular AF in Canada, the rate of SSE and new HF decreased modestly over a 10-year period, with no significant change in major bleeding. Efforts to study process-based quality indicators, with increased focus on HF prevention, are needed.


  • Wilton, Stephen B
  • Kaul, Padma
  • Islam, Sunjidatul
  • Atzema, Clare L
  • Cruz, Jennifer
  • MacFarlane, Kendra
  • McKelvie, Robert
  • Poon, Stephanie
  • Lambert, Laurie
  • Rush, Kathy
  • Deyell, Marc
  • Wyse, D George
  • Cox, Jafna L
  • Skanes, Allan
  • Sandhu, Roopinder K

publication date

  • May 2021