The influence of atrial fibrillation on the mortality of incident ESRD patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis

Hui Ling Hsieh, Shih Chang Hsu, Ho Shun Cheng, Chun You Chen, Wencheng Huang, Yuh Mou Sue1, Feng Yen Lin, Chun Ming Shih, Jawwen Chen, Shing Jong Lin, Po Hsun Huang, Chungte Liu

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Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is highly prevalent, occurring in 1%-2% of the adult population, increasing the risk of stroke, and resulting in considerable healthcare costs. While stroke is a major complication of AF, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients also have a high risk of stroke, suggesting that AF is a possible risk factor for mortality of ESRD patients. However, whether the existence of AF at the initiation of hemodialysis predicts higher mortality risk of incident ESRD patients remains to be defined. Methods This retrospective cohort study was performed at Wanfang Hospital from January 2004 to May 2018. The end points were mortality of patients or the end of the study. Incident ESRD patients who were on maintenance hemodialysis for more than 3 months were eligible for inclusion. Cox proportional regression and Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to determine the association between predictors and mortality. The association between AF and echocardiographic parameters, causes of death were also investigated. Results Of the 393 incident ESRD patients at initiation of hemodialysis, 57 (14.5%) had AF and the median age was 71 years. Patients with AF were significantly older; showed significantly higher C-reactive protein levels, more heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and mortality. Multivariate Cox regression showed that AF had a hazard ratio of 4.1 (95% confidence interval: 2.4-7.0) for mortality. Age-specific analysis showed that AF was significantly associated with mortality in all age groups. Echocardiography measurements including ejection fraction and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) were similar in AF and non-AF patients. Cause-specific analysis showed that AF significantly associated with overall cardiovascular death and death due to acute myocardial infarction/coronary artery disease and sepsis. Conclusions AF at the initiation of hemodialysis predicts higher mortality risk of incident ESRD patients regardless of age. The systolic function and degree of LVH were similar in AF and non-AF patients. The association between AF and sepsis-related death suggested the role of systemic inflammation on the pathogenesis of AF.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0228405
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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