Heart failure (HF) increases stroke risk in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Differential impact of HF category on thromboembolic and bleeding risk in AF patients on oral anticoagulation (OAC) is unknown. We used Medicare data for beneficiaries with new AF diagnosed between 2011 and 2013 to identify patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), and no HF. The primary endpoint of admission for ischemic stroke was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression models that controlled for patient demographics, comorbidities (including CHA2DS2-VASc and HASBLED scores), and OAC use as a time-dependent covariate. Secondary endpoints included all-cause mortality, admissions for gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB), intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), or HF. The 3groups included 47840, 32360, and 718392 patients respectively. Patients with HFrEF and HFpEF had higher comorbidity burden, CHA2DS2-VASc and HASBLED scores compared with patients without HF. In multivariable analysis adjusting for patient comorbidities and OAC, HFrEF and HFpEF were associated with higher risk of ischemic stroke, HF and AMI compared with no HF. HFrEF was associated with higher all-cause mortality and HF-hospitalization risk compared with HFpEF. In conclusion, in AF patients, HFrEF and HFpEF are both associated with higher risk of ischemic stroke, HF and AMI admissions, even after adjusting for OAC use, compared with patients without HF.
Mentias A et al. Am J Cardiol. 2019. Epub ahead of print.