News: Hospitalized patients with new-onset AF likely to have AF reoccur, study finds

CDI Strategies - Volume 17, Issue 50

Approximately 33% of patients who experienced a first-time atrial fibrillation (AF) episode while hospitalized for noncardiac reasons had additional AF episodes up to one year after being discharged, according to a study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study followed 278 participants—179 with AF during hospitalization and 179 without—from three Canadian hospitals. The patients with AF and their age-and-sex-matched controlled counterparts wore 14-day electrocardiogram monitors at one- and six-month increments, and conducted telephone assessments at one, six, and 12-month increments, JustCoding reported.

While approximately one-third of the patients experienced AF after hospitalization, only 5% of patients without new-onset AF during hospitalization experienced additional episodes.

“The major takeaway from this article is that [clinicians] need to follow patients who have so-called secondary, provoked, reversable, postoperative, or transient AF. You cannot dismiss AF as being a reversable entity, nor can you give these patients a life-long diagnostic label of AF. Like so many other patients out there, what’s really important is to follow their clinical evolution and to tailor the therapies with them,” said William McIntyre, MD, PhD, cardiologist and clinical researcher at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, who was lead author of the study.

Editor’s note: For JustCoding’s coverage of this story, click here. To read the full study, click here.

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