A study has identified heart failure risk factors in women who suffer from atrial fibrillation. This study was conducted by a team made up of experts from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the JACC: Heart Failure journal. The team identified diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking as risk factors, noting that all four could be changed by the individual. Those in the study who suffered from Afib but did not show any of these four factors were at a lower risk for heart failure. The team concluded that by targeting these specific risk factors, the incident HF burden in women with Afib would decrease significantly.
The team analyzed the records of 34,736 women without heart disease and the follow-up that occurred on an average of 20.6 years later. Out of the group, 1,495 patients did develop Afib. As with other studies, heart failure was once again found to be more common following Afib diagnosis. All-cause and cardiovascular mortality both increase following the development of Afib. Working to reduce the four risk factors that contribute to heart failure, the study concludes, can greatly reduce the chance of mortality.
These findings were published in JACC: Heart Fail 2017 on June 4, 2017.