AIMS: To evaluate if the increased thromboembolic risk in female patients may be related to a higher burden of atrial fibrillation (AF).
METHODS AND RESULTS: Data collected in a prospective observational research of patients implanted with a cardiac implantable electrical device (CIED) were analysed. We included 2398 patients: 489 (20.4%) were female and 1909 (79.6%) were male (oral anticoagulants treatment in 23.2%, independent of gender). During the follow-up (mean 42.8, median 37.7 months), 26 thromboembolic events occurred in 22 patients, with an incidence rate ratio of both stroke and stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) significantly higher in females compared with males [2.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53-2.61, P< 0.001 for stroke; 1.77 (95% C1.37-2.31, P< 0.001 for stroke/TIA]. An AF burden ≥5 min was a common finding (44% of patients), with no difference between men and women. The maximum daily AF burden and the time to evolution in permanent AF did not differ according to gender. The results of multivariate Cox regression showed that female gender, as well as history of CABG, were significant independent predictors of stroke and female gender was also an independent predictor of stroke/TIA.
CONCLUSIONS: Among patients implanted with a CIED, an AF burden of at least 5 min is a common finding, (44% of patients). Female patients have a risk of stroke and TIAs that is around two-fold that of male patients, but this increased risk cannot be ascribed to a higher burden of AF or to differences in the evolution to permanent AF.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01007474.
- Journal Article