Trends in incidence and prevalence of hospitalization for atrial fibrillation and associated mortality in Western Australia, 1995–2010 Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: Hospitalization for atrial fibrillation (AF) is a large and growing public health problem. We examined current trends in the incidence, prevalence, and associated mortality of first-ever hospitalization for AF. METHODS: Linked hospital admission data were used to identify all Western Australia residents aged 35-84 years with prevalent AF and incident (first-ever) hospitalization for AF as a principal or secondary diagnosis during 1995-2010. RESULTS: There were 57,552 incident hospitalizations, mean age 69.8 years, with 41.4% women. Over the calendar periods, age- and sex-standardized incidence of hospitalization for AF as any diagnosis declined annually by 1.1% (95% CI; 0.93, 1.29), while incident AF as a principal diagnosis increased annually by 1.2% (95% CI; 0.84, 1.50). Incident AF hospitalization was higher among men than women, and 15-fold higher in the 75-84 compared with 35-64 year age group. The age- and sex-standardized prevalence of AF increased annually by 2.0% (95% CI; 1.88, 2.03) over the same period. Comorbidity trends were mixed with diabetes and valvular heart disease increasing, and hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease decreasing. The 1-year all-cause mortality after incident AF hospitalization declined from 17.6% to 14.6% (trend P<0.001), with an adjusted hazard ratio of 0.86 (95% CI; 0.81, 0.91). CONCLUSION: This contemporary study shows that incident AF hospitalization is not increasing except for AF as a principal diagnosis, while population prevalence of hospitalized AF has risen substantially. The high 1-year mortality following incident AF hospitalization has improved only modestly over the recent period.


  • Briffa, Tom
  • Hung, Joseph
  • Knuiman, Matthew
  • McQuillan, Brendan
  • Chew, Derek P
  • Eikelboom, John
  • Hankey, Graeme J
  • Teng, Tiew-Hwa K
  • Nedkoff, Lee
  • Weerasooriya, Rukshen
  • Liu, Andrew
  • Stobie, Paul

publication date

  • April 2016