Worsening of Symptoms Before Presentation with Vasovagal Syncope
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INTRODUCTION: Much of the natural history of vasovagal syncope is unknown. We determined whether patients presenting for care have had a recently worsened syncope frequency. METHODS AND RESULTS: We compared 208 subjects in the referral-based Prevention of Syncope Trial (POST) and 122 subjects who fainted > or =1 in a community survey study. Their mean ages and gender proportions were similar. The POST population had a higher median lifetime syncope frequency (1.16 vs 0.12 spells/year, P < 0.0001) and more subjects began fainting at age > or =35 years (26% vs 6%, P < 0.0001). In POST, the median frequency of syncopal spells in the preceding year was higher than in all previous years (3 vs 0.57, P < 0.0001). POST subjects presented sooner after their first spell (median 11.0 vs 16.8 years, P = 0.0002), and after their last spell (median 0.3 vs 7.4 years, P < 0.0001). POST subjects > or =35 years old had a shorter history than similar community-survey subjects (2.8 vs 14.9 y, P < 0.0001) and presented earlier after their first syncopal spell than POST subjects with a younger onset of syncope (median 2.8 vs 14.7 y, P < 0.0001), despite having fewer faints (median 6 vs 10, P = 0.0002). CONCLUSIONS: Many syncope patients present for care after a recent worsening of their frequency of syncope.
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