A-Fib Ups Risk of Upper-Limb Thromboembolectomy

Higher risk seen for women than men, risk also tied to hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction

MONDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased risk of upper-limb thromboembolectomy, according to a study published online July 7 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Ljubica V. Andersen, M.D., from the Silkeborg Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues investigated the correlation between AF and the risk of upper-limb thromboembolectomy involving the brachial, ulnar, or radial arteries. Data were collected from the Danish National Vascular Registry, the National Registry of Patients, and the Danish Civil Registration System and Statistics Denmark on 131,476 patients (68,042 men and 63,434 women) aged 40 to 99 years, with AF but no previous history of upper-limb thromboembolectomy.

The investigators found that 130 men and 275 women had upper-limb thromboembolectomy over 220,890 and 197,777 person-years of observation, respectively. The incidence per 100,000 person-years was 58.9 for men and 139.1 for women. Compared to the general population, the relative risk of thromboembolectomy for patients with AF was 7.5 and 9.3 for men and women, respectively. Among patients with AF, women had a relative risk of 1.8 compared to men. A significantly increased risk of thromboembolectomy was associated with a history of hypertension (hazard ratio [HR], 2.2 to 2.9), myocardial infarction (HR, 2.9 to 3.9), heart failure (HR, 1.6 to 1.9), and stroke (HR, 2.2 to 3.8) in both men and women.

"Atrial fibrillation substantially increases the risk of upper-limb thromboembolectomy. This risk is higher with increasing age, female gender, and associated with hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke," the authors write.

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