Browsing by Subject "Atrial fibrillation"

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  • Lemma, Jasmiini; Nieminen, Tuomo; Kyhälä-Valtonen, Hanna; Nieminen, Markku; Salomaa, Veikko; Anttila, Ismo; Kerola, Anne; Rissanen, Harri; Jula, Antti; Koskinen, Seppo (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Aims: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common long-standing arrhythmia in the adult population. This study aimed to assess which factors increase the likelihood of developing AF, and whether AF is associated with worsened survival in the new millennium. Methods: 6299 participants from a nationally representative Finnish health cohort were followed from 2000 to 2014. The mortality and risk of developing AF were analyzed using Cox regression and logistic regression models. Results: The overall prevalence of AF in baseline ECG was 1.5%. During the 13 year follow- up, 16.9% of those without baseline AF and as many as 85% of those with AF at baseline died. AF increased the risk of dying 5-fold in unadjusted and 1.86-fold in adjusted analysis. In addition, age, gender, hypertension, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and smoking were associated with increased mortality in the Cox regression model. During the first 10 years of follow-up, male gender, age, BMI and alcohol consumption were associated with developing AF. Conclusion: AF is clearly linked with mortality even after the emergence of modern anticoagulation therapy. BMI and alcohol consumption were the only modifiable health factors associated with the development of AF.
  • Tiili, Paula; Leventis, Ioannis; Kinnunen, Janne; Svedjebäck, Ida; Lehto, Mika; Karagkiozi, Efstathia; Sagris, Dimitrios; Ntaios, George; Putaala, Jukka (2021)
    Background Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOAC) have superior safety and comparable efficacy profile compared to vitamin-K antagonists (VKAs), with more convenient dosing schemes. However, issues with adherence to the NOACs remain unsolved. Aims We sought to investigate the adherence to oral anticoagulation (OAC) and baseline factors associated with poor adherence after ischaemic stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods We recruited hospitalised patients (2013-2019) from two prospective stroke registries in Larissa and Helsinki University Hospitals and invited survived patients to participate in a telephone interview. We assessed adherence with the Adherence to Refills and Medications Scale (ARMS) and defined poor adherence as a score of over 17. In addition to demographics, individual comorbidities, and stroke features, we assessed the association of CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc and SAMe-TT2R2 scores with poor adherence. Results Among 396 patients (median age 75.0 years, interquartile range [IQR] 70-80; 57% men; median time from ischaemic stroke to interview 21 months [IQR 12-33]; median ARMS score 17 [IQR 17-19]), 56% of warfarin users and 44% of NOAC users reported poor adherence. In the multivariable regression model adjusted for site, sex, and age, poor adherence was independently associated with tertiary education, absence of heart failure, smoking history, use of VKA prior to index stroke, and prior ischaemic stroke. CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc and SAMe-TT2R2 scores were not associated with poor adherence. Conclusions Adherence was poor in half of AF patients who survived an ischaemic stroke. Independent patient-related factors, rather than composite scores, were associated with poor adherence in these patients. KEY MESSAGES Adherence was poor in half of the atrial fibrillation patients who survived an ischaemic stroke. Independent patient-related factors rather than composite scores were associated with poor adherence. The findings support the importance of recognising adherence support as a crucial part of holistic patient care recommended by recent AF guideline.
  • Penttila, Tero; Makynen, Heikki; Hartikainen, Juha; Hyppola, Harri; Lauri, Timo; Lehto, Mika; Lund, Juha; Raatikainen, M. J. Pekka; FinFib2 Investigators (2017)
    Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia that causes numerous visits to emergency departments (ED). The aim of the FinFib2 study was to evaluate whether treatment of patients with AF in ED is consistent with the contemporary European Society of Cardiology (ESC) management guidelines. Here we report the results of antiarrhythmic drug therapy (AAD) in ED. Methods: All patients within the two-week study period whose primary reason for the ED visit was symptomatic AF were included into this prospective multicentre study. Comprehensive data on factors contributing to the treatment of AF were collected, including a data of previous use of ADDs, and changes made for them during a visit in ED. Results: The study population consisted of 1013 consecutive patients (mean age 70 +/- 13 years, 47.6% female). The mean European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) symptom score was 2.2 +/- 0.8. Rhythm control strategy was opt for 498 (63.8%) and 140 (64.5%) patients with previously and newly diagnosed AF, respectively. In patients with previously diagnosed AF the most frequently used AAD was a beta blocker (80.9%). Prior use of class I (11.4%) and III (9.1%) AADs as well as start or adjustment of their dosage (7.4%) were uncommon. Most of the patients with newly diagnosed AF were prescribed a beta blocker (71.0%) or a calcium channel antagonist (24.0%), and only two of them received class I or class III AADs. Conclusions: Our data demonstrated that in patients presenting to the ED with recurrent symptomatic AF and aimed for rhythm control strategy, the use of class I and class III AADs was rare despite ESC guideline recommendations. It is possible that early adaptation of a more aggressive rhythm control strategy might improve a quality of life for symptomatic patients and alleviate the ED burden associated with AF. Beta blockers were used by majority of patients as rate control therapy both in rate and rhythm control groups.
  • Goto, Shinya; Merrill, Peter; Wallentin, Lars; Wojdyla, Daniel M.; Hanna, Michael; Avezum, Alvaro; Easton, J. Donald; Harjola, Veli-Pekka; Huber, Kurt; Lewis, Basil S.; Parkhomenko, Alexander; Zhu, Jun; Granger, Christopher B.; Lopes, Renato D.; Alexander, John H. (2018)
    Aims We investigated baseline characteristics, antithrombotic use, and clinical outcomes of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and a thrombo-embolic event in the Apixaban for Reduction in Stroke and Other Thromboembolic Events in Atrial Fibrillation (ARISTOTLE) study to better inform the care of these high-risk patients. Method and results Thrombo-embolic events were defined as stroke (ischaemic or unknown cause) or systemic embolism (SE). Clinical outcomes were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. All-cause mortality and International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) major bleeding after events were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model with time-dependent covariates. Of 18 201 patients in ARISTOTLE, 365 experienced a thrombo-embolic event [337 strokes (ischaemic or unknown cause), 28 SE]; 46 (12.6%) of which were fatal. In the 30 days before and after a thrombo-embolic event, 11% and 37% of patients, respectively, were not taking an oral anticoagulant. During follow-up (median 1.8 years), 22 patients (7.1%/year) had a recurrent stroke, 97 (30.1%/year) died, and 10 (6.7%/year) had major bleeding. Compared with patients without a thrombo-embolic event, the short-and long-term adjusted hazards of death in patients with a thrombo-embolic event were high [30 days: HR 3.5, 95% CI 2.5-4.8; both P Conclusions Thrombo-embolic events were rare but associated with high short-and long-term morbidity and mortality. Substantial numbers of patients are not receiving oral anticoagulattherapy before and, despite this risk, after a first thrombo-embolic event.
  • Geelhoed, Bastiaan; Börschel, Christin S.; Niiranen, Teemu; Palosaari, Tarja; Havulinna, Aki S.; Fouodo, Cesaire J. K.; Scheinhardt, Markus O.; Blankenberg, Stefan; Jousilahti, Pekka; Kuulasmaa, Kari; Zeller, Tanja; Salomaa, Veikko; Schnabel, Renate B. (2020)
    Aims Natriuretic peptides are extensively studied biomarkers for atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF). Their role in the pathogenesis of both diseases is not entirely understood and previous studies several single-nucleotide poly-morphisms (SNPs) at the NPPA-NPPB locus associated with natriuretic peptides have been identified. We investigated the causal relationship between natriuretic peptides and AF as well as HF using a Mendelian randomization approach. Methods and results N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (N= 6669), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) (N= 6674), and mid-regional pro atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) (N= 6813) were measured in the FINRISK 1997 cohort. N=30 common SNPs related to NT-proBNP, BNP, and MR-proANP were selected from studies. We performed six Mendelian randomizations for all three natriuretic peptide biomarkers and for both outcomes, AF and HF, separately. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) based on multiple SNPs were used as genetic instrumental variable in Mendelian randomizations. Polygenic risk scores were significantly associated with the three natriuretic peptides. Polygenic risk scores were not significantly associated with incident AF nor HF. Most cardiovascular risk factors showed significant confounding percentages, but no association with PRS. A causal relation except for small causal betas is unlikely. Conclusion In our Mendelian randomization approach, we confirmed an association between common genetic variation at the NPPA-NPPB locus and natriuretic peptides. A strong causal relationship between natriuretic peptides and incidence of AF as well as HF at the community-level was ruled out. Therapeutic approaches targeting natriuretic peptides will therefore very likely work through indirect mechanisms.
  • Jansson, Victoria; Bergfeldt, Lennart; Schwieler, Jonas; Kenneback, Goran; Rubulis, Aigars; Jensen, Steen M.; Raatikainen, Pekka; Sciaraffia, Elena; Blomström-Lundqvist, Carina (2021)
    Aims: To assess the relation between atrial fibrillation (AF) characteristics and health-related quality of life (QoL), and which AF characteristic had the greatest impact. Method: The AF characteristics burden (percentage of time in AF), duration and number of AF episodes/month were obtained from implantable cardiac monitors during the 2-month run-in period in 150 patients included in the randomized CAPTAF trial comparing early ablation and antiarrhythmic drug therapy. The QoL was measured by the General Health and Vitality dimensions of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. AF characteristics were analysed continuously and in quartiles (Q1-Q4). Results: Greater AF burden (p = 0.003) and longer AF episodes (p = 0.013) were associated with impaired QoL (Vitality score only) in simple linear regression analyses. Greater AF burden was, however, the only AF characteristic associated with lower QoL, when adjusted for sex, type of AF, hypertension, heart rate above 110 beats per minute during AF, and beta-blocker use in multiple linear regression analyses. For every 10% increase in AF burden there was a 1.34-point decrease of Vitality score (95% confidence interval (CI) -2.67 to -0.02, p = 0.047). The Vitality score was 12 points lower (95% CI -22.73 to -1.27, p = 0.03) in patients with an AF burden > 33% (Q4) versus those with < 0.45% (Q1), but only in unadjusted analysis. Conclusion: AF burden had a greater impact on QoL (Vitality), than the duration and number of AF episodes, corroborating that AF burden may be the preferred outcome measure of rhythm control in trials including relatively healthy AF populations. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Penttilä, Tero; Lehto, Mika; Niiranen, Jussi; Mehtälä, Juha; Khanfir, Houssem; Lassila, Riitta; Raatikainen, Pekka (2019)
    Females with atrial fibrillation (AF) have been suggested to carry a higher risk for thromboembolic events than males. We compared the residual risk of stroke, bleeding events, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality among female and male AF patients taking warfarin. Data from several nationwide registries and laboratory databases were linked with the civil registration number of the patients. A total of 54568 patients with data on the quality of warfarin treatment (time in therapeutic range) 60days prior to the events were included (TTR60). Gender differences in the endpoints were reported for the whole population, pre-specified age groups, and different TTR60 groups. During the 3.21.6years follow-up, there were no differences in the adjusted risk of stroke [hazard ratio (HR) 0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.911.03, P=0.304] between the genders. Cardiovascular mortality (HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.780.88, P <0.001) and all-cause mortality (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.750.83, P <0.001) were lower in women when compared with men. There were no differences in the risk of stroke, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality between the genders in the TTR60 categories except for those with TTR60 <50%. Bleeding events were less frequent in females (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.490.56, P <0.001). There were no differences in the risk of stroke between female and male AF patients taking warfarin. Cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, and risk of bleeding events were lower in females. Hence, female gender was not a risk marker for adverse outcomes in AF patients with proper warfarin therapy.
  • Kokki, Hannu; Maaroos, Martin; Ellam, Sten; Halonen, Jari; Ojanpera, Ilkka; Ranta, Merja; Ranta, Veli-Pekka; Tolonen, Aleksandra; Lindberg, Oscar; Viitala, Matias; Hartikainen, Juha (2018)
    Purpose Cardiac surgery and conventional extracorporeal circulation (CECC) impair the bioavailability of drugs administered by mouth. It is not known whether miniaturized ECC (MECC) or off-pump surgery (OPCAB) affect the bioavailability in similar manner. We evaluated the metoprolol bioavailability in patients undergoing CABG surgery with CECC, MECC, or having OPCAB. Methods Thirty patients, ten in each group, aged 44-79 years, scheduled for CABG surgery were administered 50 mg metoprolol by mouth on the preoperative day at 8-10 a.m. and 8 p.m., 2 h before surgery, and thereafter daily at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Blood samples were collected up to 12 h after the morning dose on the preoperative day and on first and third postoperative days. Metoprolol concentration in plasma was analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results The absorption of metoprolol was markedly reduced on the first postoperative day in all three groups, but recovered to the preoperative level on the third postoperative day. The geometric means (90% confidence interval) of AUC(0-12) on the first and third postoperative days versus the preoperative day were 44 (26-74)% and 109 (86-139)% in the CECC-group, 28 (16-50)% and 79 (59-105)% in the MECC-group, and 26 (12-56)% and 96 (77-119)% in the OPCAB-group, respectively. Two patients in the CECC-group and two in the MECC-group developed atrial fibrillation (AF). The bioavailability and the drug concentrations of metoprolol in patients developing AF did not differ from those who remained in sinus rhythm. Conclusion The bioavailability of metoprolol by mouth was markedly reduced in the early phase after CABG with no difference between the CECC-, MECC-, and OPCAB-groups.
  • Lehtonen, Arttu O.; Langen, Ville L.; Puukka, Pauli J.; Kahonen, Mika; Nieminen, Markku S.; Jula, Antti M.; Niiranen, Teemu J. (2017)
    Background: Scant data exist on incidence rates, correlates, and prognosis of electrocardiographic P-wave abnormalities in the general population. Methods: We recorded ECG and measured conventional cardiovascular risk factors in 5667 Finns who were followed up for incident atrial fibrillation (AF). We obtained repeat ECGs from 3089 individuals I I years later. Results: The incidence rates of prolonged P-wave duration, abnormal P terminal force (PTF), left P-wave axis deviation, and right P-wave axis deviation were 16.0%, 7.4%, 3.4%, and 2.2%, respectively. Older age and higher BMI were associated with incident prolonged P-wave duration and abnormal PTF (P Conclusions: Modifiable risk factors associate with P-wave abnormalities that are common and may represent intermediate steps of atrial cardiomyopathy on a pathway leading to AF. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Kivimaki, Mika; Nyberg, Solja T.; Batty, G. David; Kawachi, Ichiro; Jokela, Markus; Alfredsson, Lars; Bjorner, Jakob B.; Borritz, Marianne; Burr, Hermann; Dragano, Nico; Fransson, Eleonor I.; Heikkila, Katriina; Knutsson, Anders; Koskenvuo, Markku; Kumari, Meena; Madsen, Ida E. H.; Nielsen, Martin L.; Nordin, Maria; Oksanen, Tuula; Pejtersen, Jan H.; Pentti, Jaana; Rugulies, Reiner; Salo, Paula; Shipley, Martin J.; Suominen, Sakari; Theorell, Tores; Vahtera, Jussi; Westerholm, Peter; Westerlund, Hugo; Steptoe, Andrew; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Hamer, Mark; Ferrie, Jane E.; Virtanen, Marianna; Tabak, Adam G.; IPD Work Consortium (2017)
    Aims Studies suggest that people who work long hours are at increased risk of stroke, but the association of long working hours with atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia and a risk factor for stroke, is unknown. We examined the risk of atrial fibrillation in individuals working long hours (>= 55 per week) and those working standard 35-40 h/week. Methods and results In this prospective multi-cohort study from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium, the study population was 85 494 working men and women (mean age 43.4 years) with no recorded atrial fibrillation. Working hours were assessed at study baseline (1991-2004). Mean follow-up for incident atrial fibrillation was 10 years and cases were defined using data on electrocardiograms, hospital records, drug reimbursement registers, and death certificates. We identified 1061 new cases of atrial fibrillation (10-year cumulative incidence 12.4 per 1000). After adjustment for age, sex and socioeconomic status, individuals working long hours had a 1.4-fold increased risk of atrial fibrillation compared with those working standard hours (hazard ratio = 1.42, 95% CI= 1.13-1.80, P= 0.003). There was no significant heterogeneity between the cohort-specific effect estimates (I-2= 0%, P = 0.66) and the finding remained after excluding participants with coronary heart disease or stroke at baseline or during the follow-up (N= 2006, hazard ratio= 1.36, 95% CI= 1.05-1.76, P = 0.0180). Adjustment for potential confounding factors, such as obesity, risky alcohol use and high blood pressure, had little impact on this association. Conclusion Individuals who worked long hours were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation than those working standard hours.
  • Teppo, Konsta; Jaakkola, Jussi; Airaksinen, K. E. Juhani; Biancari, Fausto; Halminen, Olli; Putaala, Jukka; Mustonen, Pirjo; Haukka, Jari; Hartikainen, Juha; Luojus, Alex; Niemi, Mikko; Linna, Miika; Lehto, Mika (2022)
    Objective: Medication adherence is essential for effective stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We aimed to assess whether adherence to direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in AF patients is affected by the presence of mental health conditions (MHCs). Methods: The nationwide FinACAF cohort covered 74,222 AF patients from all levels of care receiving DOACs during 2011-2018 in Finland. Medication possession ratio (MPR) was used to quantify adherence. Patients with MPR >= 0.90 were defined adherent. MHCs of interest were depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. Results: The patients' (mean age 75.4 +/- 9.5 years, 50.8% female) mean MPR was 0.84 (SD 0.22), and 59.5% had MPR >= 0.90. Compared to patients without MHC, the adjusted ORs (95% CI) for adherent DOAC use emerged slightly lower in patients with depression (0.92 (0.84-0.99)) and bipolar disorder (0.77 (0.61-0.97)) and unsignificant in patients with anxiety disorder (1.08 (0.96-1.21)) and schizophrenia (1.13 (0.90-1.43)). However, when only persistent DOAC therapy was analyzed, no MHC was associated with poor adherence, and instead anxiety disorder was associated with adherent DOAC use (1.18 (1.04-1.34)). Conclusion: Adherence to DOACs in AF patients in Finland was relatively high, and no meaningful differences between patients with and without MHCs were observed.
  • Tiili, Paula; Putaala, Jukka; Mehtala, Juha; Khanfir, Houssem; Niiranen, Jussi; Korhonen, Pasi; Raatikainen, Pekka; Lehto, Mika (2019)
    Background: Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating complication of oral anticoagulation. The aim of this study was to describe the spectrum of ICH and to evaluate the association of warfarin control with the risk of ICH in a nationwide cohort of unselected atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Methods and Results: The FinWAF is a retrospective registry-linkage study. Data were collected from several nationwide Finnish health-care registers and laboratory databases. The primary outcome was any ICH (traumatic or non-traumatic). The quality of warfarin therapy was assessed continuously by calculating the time in therapeutic range in a 60-day window (TTR60). Adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were used. A total of 53,953 patients were included (53% men; mean age, 73 years; mean follow-up, 2.94 years; mean TTR, 63%). In 129,684 patient-years, 1,196 patients had ICH (non-traumatic, 53.5%; traumatic, 43.6%; traumatic subdural, 38.6%); crude annual rate, 0.92%; 95% CI: 0.87-0.98). A lower TTR60 was significantly associated with higher risk of ICH (TTR60 80%; adjusted hazard ratio, 2.16; 95% CI: 1.83-2.54). Other variables independently associated with ICH included age >65 years, previous stroke, male sex, low hemoglobin, thrombocytopenia, elevated alanine aminotransferase, and previous bleeding other than ICH. Conclusions: Poor control of warfarin treatment was associated with elevated risk of ICH. Approximately half of the ICH were traumatic, mainly subdural.
  • Itäinen-Strömberg, Saga; Hekkala, Anna-Mari; Aro, Aapo L.; Vasankari, Tuija; Airaksinen, Kari Eino Juhani; Lehto, Mika (2020)
    Background Nonvitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are increasingly used in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) undergoing elective cardioversion (ECV). The aim was to investigate the use of NOACs and warfarin in ECV in a real-life setting and to assess how the chosen regimen affected the delay to ECV and rate of complications. Methods Consecutive AF patients undergoing ECVs in the city hospitals of Helsinki between January 2015 and December 2016 were studied. Data on patient characteristics, delays to cardioversion, anticoagulation treatment, acute ( Results Nine hundred patients (59.2% men; mean age, 68.0 +/- 10.0) underwent 992 ECVs, of which 596 (60.0%) were performed using NOACs and 396 (40.0%) using warfarin. The mean CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score was 2.5 (+/- 1.6). In patients without previous anticoagulation treatment, NOACs were associated with a shorter mean time to cardioversion than warfarin (51 versus. 68 days, respectively; p <.001). Six thromboembolic events (0.6%) occurred: 4 (0.7%) in NOAC-treated patients and 2 (0.5%) in warfarin-treated patients. Clinically relevant bleeding events occurred in seven patients (1.8%) receiving warfarin and three patients (0.5%) receiving NOACs. Anticoagulation treatment was altered for 99 patients (11.0%) during the study period, with the majority (88.2%) of changes from warfarin to NOACs. Conclusions In this real-life study, the rates of thromboembolic and bleeding complications were low in AF patients undergoing ECV. Patients receiving NOAC therapy had a shorter time to cardioversion and continued their anticoagulation therapy more often than patients on warfarin.
  • Börschel, Christin S.; Ohlrogge, Amelie H.; Geelhoed, Bastiaan; Niiranen, Teemu; Havulinna, Aki S.; Palosaari, Tarja; Jousilahti, Pekka; Rienstra, Michiel; van der Harst, Pim; Blankenberg, Stefan; Zeller, Tanja; Salomaa, Veikko; Schnabel, Renate B. (2021)
    Aims Classical cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF5), biomarkers, and common genetic variation have been suggested for risk assessment of atrial fibrillation (AF). To evaluate their clinical potential, we analysed their individual and combined ability of AF prediction. Methods and results In N=6945 individuals of the FINRISK 1997 cohort, we assessed the predictive value of CVRF, N-terminal pro Btype natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and 145 recently identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) combined in a developed polygenic risk score (PRS) for incident AF. Over a median follow-up of 17.8 years, n = 551 participants (7.9%) developed AF. In multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models, NT-proBNP [hazard ratio (HR) of log transformed values 4.77; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.66-6.22; P Conclusion The PRS and the established biomarker NT-proBNP showed comparable predictive ability. Both provided incremental predictive value over standard clinical variables. Further improvements for the PRS are likely with the discovery of additional SNPs.
  • GARFIELD-AF Investigators; Pope, Marita Knudsen; Atar, Dan; Svilaas, Arne; Raatikainen, Pekka; Camm, A. John (2021)
    Aims: The objective was to evaluate the clinical characteristics, management and two-year outcomes of patients with newly diagnosed non-valvular atrial fibrillation at risk for stroke in Nordic countries. Methods: We examined the baseline characteristics, antithrombotic treatment, and two-year clinical outcomes of patients from four Nordic countries. Results: A total of 52,080 patients were enrolled in the GARFIELD-AF. Out of 29,908 European patients, 2,396 were recruited from Nordic countries. The use of oral anticoagulants, alone or in combination with antiplatelet (AP), was higher in Nordic patients in all CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc categories: 0-1 (72.8% vs 60.3%), 2-3 (78.7% vs 72.9%) and >= 4 (79.2% vs 74.1%). In Nordic patients, NOAC +/- AP was more frequently prescribed (32.0% vs 27.7%) and AP monotherapy was less often prescribed (10.4% vs 18.2%) when compared with Non-Nordic European patients. The rates (per 100 patient years) of all-cause mortality and non-haemorrhagic stroke/systemic embolism (SE) were similar in Nordic and Non-Nordic European patients [3.63 (3.11-4.23) vs 4.08 (3.91-4.26), p value = .147] and [0.98 (0.73-1.32) vs 1.02 (0.93-1.11), p value = .819], while major bleeding was significantly higher [1.66 (1.32-2.09) vs 1.01 (0.93-1.10), p value <.001]. Conclusion: Nordic patients had significantly higher major bleeding than Non-Nordic-European patients. In contrast, rates of all-cause mortality and non-haemorrhagic stroke/SE were comparable.
  • Lindsberg, Perttu J.; Toivonen, Lauri; Diener, Hans-Christoph (2014)
  • Lehto, Mika; Halminen, Olli; Mustonen, Pirjo; Putaala, Jukka; Linna, Miika; Kinnunen, Janne; Kouki, Elis; Niiranen, Jussi; Hartikainen, Juha; Haukka, Jari; Airaksinen, Kari Eino Juhani (2022)
    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a major cause of ischemic stroke and the number of AF patients is increasing. Thus, up-to-date multifaceted data about the characteristics of AF patients, their treatments, and outcomes are urgently needed. The Finnish anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation (FinACAF) study has collected comprehensive data on all Finnish AF patients from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2018. The aim of this paper is to describe the study rationale, the process of integrating data from the applied resources and to define the study cohort. Using national unique personal identification number, individual patient data is linked from nationwide health care registries (primary, secondary, and tertiary care), drug purchases, education, and socio-economic status as well as places of domicile, incomes, and taxes. Six regional laboratory databases (similar to 282,000, 77% of the patients) are also included. The study cohort comprises of a total of 411,000 patients. Since the introduction of the national primary care register in 2012, 9% of all AF patients were identified outside hospital care registers. The prevalence of AF in Finland-4.1% of whole population-is for the first time now established. The FinACAF study allows a unique possibility to investigate the epidemiology and socio-medico-economic impact of AF as well as the cost effectiveness of different AF management strategies in a completely unselected, nationwide population. This article provides the rationale and design of the study together with a summary of the characteristics of the cohort.
  • Raatikainen, M. J. Pekka; Penttilä, Tero; Korhonen, Pasi; Mehtälä, Juha; Lassila, Riitta; Lehto, Mika (2018)
    Aims The impact of the quality of warfarin therapy on cardiovascular outcomes excluding stroke is largely unknown. The aims of this study were to evaluate the association between the warfarin control and the incidence and outcome of myocardial infarction (MI) and to validate the predictive value of the CHA2DS2-VASc score for MI in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients taking warfarin. Methods and results The nationwide FinWAF Registry consists of 54 568 AF patients (mean age 73.31 +/- 10.7 years, 52% men) taking warfarin. The quality of warfarin therapy was assessed continuously by calculating the time in therapeutic range within a 60-day window using the Rosendaal method (TTR60). Adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were prepared for the incidence of MI and cardiovascular mortality in six different TTR60 categories. During the 3.2 +/- 1.6 years of follow-up, the annual incidence of MI (95% confidence interval) was 3.3% (3.0-3.5%), 2.9% (2.6-3.3%), 2.4% (2.1-2.7%), 1.9% (1.7-2.2%), 1.7% (1.5-2.0%), and 1.2% (1.1-1.3%) among patients with TTR60 80%, respectively. Well-managed warfarin therapy (TTR60 >80%) was associated also with a lower cardiovascular mortality, whereas a high CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score correlated with poor outcome. Conclusion Cardiovascular outcome was superior among AF patients with good warfarin control and in those with a low CHA(2)DS(2)-VASc score. The inverse association between the TTR60 and incidence of MI and cardiovascular mortality indicate that in AF patients the quality of warfarin therapy is critical not only for prevention of stroke but also with regard to cardiovascular outcome.
  • Hemila, Harri; Suonsyrja, Timo (2017)
    Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF), a common arrhythmia contributing substantially to cardiac morbidity, is associated with oxidative stress and, being an antioxidant, vitamin C might influence it. Methods: We searched the Cochrane CENTRAL Register, MEDLINE, and Scopus databases for randomised trials on vitamin C that measured AF as an outcome in high risk patients. The two authors independently assessed the trials for inclusion, assessed the risk of bias, and extracted data. We pooled selected trials using the Mantel-Haenszel method for the risk ratio (RR) and the inverse variance weighting for the effects on continuous outcomes. Results: We identified 15 trials about preventing AF in high-risk patients, with 2050 subjects. Fourteen trials examined post-operative AF (POAF) in cardiac surgery patients and one examined the recurrence of AF in cardioversion patients. Five trials were carried out in the USA, five in Iran, three in Greece, one in Slovenia and one in Russia. There was significant heterogeneity in the effect of vitamin C in preventing AF. In 5 trials carried out in the USA, vitamin C did not prevent POAF with RR = 1.04 (95% CI: 0.86-1.27). In nine POAF trials conducted outside of the USA, vitamin C decreased its incidence with RR = 0.56 (95% CI: 0.47-0.67). In the single cardioversion trial carried out in Greece, vitamin C decreased the risk of AF recurrence by RR = 0.13 (95% CI: 0.02-0.92). In the non-US cardiac surgery trials, vitamin C decreased the length of hospital stay by 12.6% (95% CI 8.4-16.8%) and intensive care unit (ICU) stay by 8.0% (95% CI 3.0-13.0%). The US trials found no effect on hospital stay and ICU stay. No adverse effects from vitamin C were reported in the 15 trials. Conclusions: Our meta-analysis indicates that vitamin C may prevent post-operative atrial fibrillation in some countries outside of the USA, and it may also shorten the duration of hospital stay and ICU stay of cardiac surgery patients. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is safe and inexpensive. Further research is needed to determine the optimal dosage protocol and to identify the patient groups that benefit the most.
  • Hemilä, Harri; Suonsyrjä, Timo (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Atrial fibrillation (AF), a common arrhythmia contributing substantially to cardiac morbidity, is associated with oxidative stress and, being an antioxidant, vitamin C might influence it. Methods We searched the Cochrane CENTRAL Register, MEDLINE, and Scopus databases for randomised trials on vitamin C that measured AF as an outcome in high risk patients. The two authors independently assessed the trials for inclusion, assessed the risk of bias, and extracted data. We pooled selected trials using the Mantel-Haenszel method for the risk ratio (RR) and the inverse variance weighting for the effects on continuous outcomes. Results We identified 15 trials about preventing AF in high-risk patients, with 2050 subjects. Fourteen trials examined post-operative AF (POAF) in cardiac surgery patients and one examined the recurrence of AF in cardioversion patients. Five trials were carried out in the USA, five in Iran, three in Greece, one in Slovenia and one in Russia. There was significant heterogeneity in the effect of vitamin C in preventing AF. In 5 trials carried out in the USA, vitamin C did not prevent POAF with RR = 1.04 (95% CI: 0.86–1.27). In nine POAF trials conducted outside of the USA, vitamin C decreased its incidence with RR = 0.56 (95% CI: 0.47–0.67). In the single cardioversion trial carried out in Greece, vitamin C decreased the risk of AF recurrence by RR = 0.13 (95% CI: 0.02–0.92). In the non-US cardiac surgery trials, vitamin C decreased the length of hospital stay by 12.6% (95% CI 8.4–16.8%) and intensive care unit (ICU) stay by 8.0% (95% CI 3.0–13.0%). The US trials found no effect on hospital stay and ICU stay. No adverse effects from vitamin C were reported in the 15 trials. Conclusions Our meta-analysis indicates that vitamin C may prevent post-operative atrial fibrillation in some countries outside of the USA, and it may also shorten the duration of hospital stay and ICU stay of cardiac surgery patients. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is safe and inexpensive. Further research is needed to determine the optimal dosage protocol and to identify the patient groups that benefit the most.