Sex-related differences in risk factors, outcome, and quality of life in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation: results from the RACE II study

RACE II Investigators, Mariëlle Kloosterman, Harry J G M Crijns, Bart A Mulder, Hessel F Groenveld, Dirk J Van Veldhuisen, Michiel Rienstra, Isabelle C Van Gelder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

AIMS: Atrial fibrillation (AF) risk factors translate into disease progression. Whether this affects women and men differently is unclear. We aimed to investigate sex differences in risk factors, outcome, and quality of life (QoL) in permanent AF patients.

METHODS AND RESULTS: The Rate Control Efficacy in Permanent Atrial Fibrillation (RACE II) randomized 614 patients, 211 women and 403 men, to lenient or strict rate control. In this post hoc analysis risk factors, cardiovascular events during 3-year follow-up (cardiovascular death, heart failure hospitalization, stroke, systemic embolism, bleeding, and life-threatening arrhythmic events), outcome parameters, and QoL were compared between the sexes. Women were older (71 ± 7 vs. 66 ± 8 years, P < 0.001), had more hypertension (70 vs. 57%, P = 0.002), and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (36 vs. 17%, P < 0.001), but less coronary artery disease (13 vs. 21%, P = 0.02). Women had more risk factors (3.7 ± 1.2 vs. 2.9 ± 1.4, P < 0.001) Cardiovascular events occurred in 46 (22%) women and 59 (15%) men (P = 0.03). Women had a 1.52 times [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-2.24] higher yearly cardiovascular event-rate [8.2% (6.0-10.9) vs. 5.4% (4.1-6.9), P = 0.03], but this was no longer significant after adjusting for the number of underlying risk factors. Women had reduced QoL, irrespective of age and heart rate but negatively influenced by their risk factors.

CONCLUSION: In this permanent AF population, women had more accumulation of AF risk factors than men. The observed higher cardiovascular event rate in women was no longer significant after adjusting for the number of risk factors. Further, QoL was negatively influenced by the higher number of risk factors in women. This suggests that sex differences may be driven by the greater risk factor burden in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1627
Number of pages9
JournalEuropace
Volume22
Issue number11
Early online date20-Nov-2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2020

Cite this