Better Outcomes for Cardiology Care in Newly Diagnosed A-Fib

Reduction in stroke, death; increase in hospitalization for AF/SVT, MI


TUESDAY, June 27, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF), cardiology care is associated with improved outcomes versus primary care, according to a study published in the July 4 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Alexander C. Perino, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues used data from 184,161 patients with newly diagnosed nonvalvular AF who had at least one outpatient encounter with primary care or cardiology within 90 days of diagnosis of AF (60 and 40 percent, respectively). The authors sought to examine the correlation between treating specialty and AF outcomes.

The researchers found that cardiology care correlated with significant reductions in stroke and death (hazard ratios, 0.91 and 0.89, respectively) and with significant increases in hospitalizations for AF/supraventricular tachycardia and myocardial infarction (hazard ratios, 1.38 and 1.03, respectively), after adjustment for covariates. Similar results were seen in the propensity-matched cohort. Oral anticoagulation prescription within 90 days of diagnosis may have mediated reductions in stroke, but did not impact survival in mediation analysis.

"Although hypothesis-generating, these data warrant serious consideration and study of health care system interventions at the time of new AF diagnosis," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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