Differences in clinical and functional outcomes of atrial fibrillation in women and men: Two-year results from the ORBIT-AF Registry

Jonathan P. Piccini, Da Juanicia N. Simon, Benjamin A. Steinberg, Laine Thomas, Larry A. Allen, Gregg C. Fonarow, Bernard Gersh, Elaine Hylek, Peter R. Kowey, James A. Reiffel, Gerald V. Naccarelli, Paul S. Chan, John A. Spertus, Eric D. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE: Despite the frequency of atrial fibrillation (AF) in clinical practice, relatively little is known about sex differences in symptoms and quality of life and how they may affect treatment and outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether symptoms, quality of life, treatment, and outcomes differ between women and men with AF. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This observational cohort study included 10 135 patients with AF. The Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation is a prospective, nationwide, multicenter outpatient registry of patients with incident and prevalent AF enrolled at 176 sites between June 2010 and August 2011. MAIN OUTCOMESAND MEASURES: Symptoms, quality of life as measured by Atrial Fibrillation Effects on Quality of Life scores, AF treatment, cardiovascular outcomes, stroke or non-central nervous system embolism, and all-cause mortality. RESULTS: Overall, 4293 of the cohort (42%) were female. Compared with men, women were older (77 years; interquartile range [IQR], 69-83, vs 73 years; IQR, 65-80; P < .001) and had higher median CHA2DS2-VASc scores (5; IQR, 4-6, vs 3; IQR, 2-5; P < .001), but less sleep apnea (578 [13.5%] vs 1264 [21.6%]; P < .001). Only 32.1% of women (n = 1378) were asymptomatic (European Heart Rhythm Association class I) compared with 42.5%of men (n = 2483) in unadjusted analyses (P < .001). Women had lower (more severe) unadjusted baseline overall Atrial Fibrillation Effects on Quality of Life scores (n = 2007; 80; IQR, 62-92 vs 83; IQR, 69-94; P < .001). Women had similar rates of anticoagulation and similar time in therapeutic range. In follow-up, women experienced lower risk-adjusted all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.49-0.67) and cardiovascular death (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.44-0.72); however, they had a higher risk for stroke or non-central nervous system embolism (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.05-1.84; P = .02) compared with men. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Women withAFhave more symptoms and worse quality of life. Despite higher risk, women have lower risk-adjusted all-cause and cardiovascular death compared with men, but higher stroke rates. Future studies should focus on how treatment and interventions specifically affect AF-related quality of life and cardiovascular outcomes in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-291
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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