Women with AFib Have Worse Quality of Life Compared to Men

The findings of a recent study indicate that women with atrial fibrillation (AFib) have worse quality of life compared to men with AFib. The results appeared in the American Journal of Preventative Cardiology.

“Women have worse patient-reported outcomes in (AFib) than men, but the reasons remain poorly understood. We investigated how comorbid conditions, treatment, social factors, and their modification by sex would attenuate sex-specific differences in patient-reported outcomes in AF,” the researchers wrote.

This study comprised 339 individuals (45% women) with prevalent AF we measured patient-reported outcomes with the Short-Form-12 (SF-12, an 8-domain quality of life measure), and the AF Effect on QualiTy of Life (AFEQT), an instrument specific to AF, both with range 0-100 and higher scores indicating superior outcomes. The researchers assessed sex-specific differences in patient-reported outcomes using multivariable-adjusted regression analyses while factoring for demographics, comorbid conditions, treatment, social factors, and their sex-based modification.

According to the results, women with AFib reported worse physical functioning, social functioning, and mental health compared to their male counterparts. These differences were attenuated with adjustment for comorbid conditions and depression, the researchers noted.

We identified sex-specific differences in patient-reported outcomes assessed with general and AF-specific measures,” the researchers concluded. “Compared to men, women with AF reported worse overall health-related quality of life, even after consideration of both relevant covariates and their modification by sex. Our research indicates the importance of consideration of sex-based inequities when evaluating patient-reported outcomes in AF.”

The researchers added that these results “persisted after accounting for clinical and social factors, AF treatment, and depression. We also identified that sex-specific interactions with this array of covariates did not explain or account for the differences between women and men. We consider recognition of sex differences in patient-centered outcomes as highly relevant for the study and treatment of AF. Exploration of the mechanisms for why women with AF report a worse experience than men merits continued investigation.”