Population Trends in All-Cause Mortality and Cause Specific-Death With Incident Atrial Fibrillation


Limited studies have evaluated population-level temporal trends in mortality and cause of death in patients with contemporary managed atrial fibrillation. This study reports the temporal trends in 1-year overall and cause-specific mortality in patients with incident atrial fibrillation.

Methods and Results

Patients with incident atrial fibrillation presenting to an emergency department or hospitalized in Ontario, Canada, were identified in population-level linked administrative databases that included data on vital statistics and cause of death. Temporal trends in 1-year all-cause and cause-specific mortality was determined for individuals identified between April 1, 2007 (fiscal year [FY] 2007) and March 31, 2016 (FY 2015). The study cohort consisted of 110 302 individuals, 69±15 years of age with a median congestive heart failure, hypertension, age (≥75 years), diabetes mellitus, stroke (2 points), vascular disease, age (≥65 years), sex category (female) score of 2.8. There was no significant decline in the adjusted 1-year all-cause mortality between the first and last years of the study period (adjusted mortality: FY 2007, 8.0%; FY 2015, 7.8%; P for trend=0.68). Noncardiovascular death accounted for 61% of all deaths; the adjusted 1-year noncardiovascular mortality rate rose from 4.5% in FY 2007 to 5.2% in FY 2015 (P for trend=0.007). In contrast, the 1-year cardiovascular mortality rate decreased from 3.5% in FY 2007 to 2.6% in FY 2015 (P for trend=0.01).


Overall 1-year all-cause mortality in individuals with incident atrial fibrillation has not improved despite a significant reduction in the rate of cardiovascular death. These findings highlight the importance of recognizing and managing concomitant noncardiovascular conditions in patients with atrial fibrillation.