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Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 474 - 480

The Relationship Between Daily Atrial Tachyarrhythmia Burden From Implantable Device Diagnostics and Stroke Risk: The TRENDS Study

T. V Glotzer, E. G Daoud, D. G Wyse, D. E Singer, M. D Ezekowitz, C Hilker, C Miller, D Qi and P. D. Ziegler


Background— It is unknown if brief episodes of device-detected atrial fibrillation (AF) increase thromboembolic event (TE) risk.

Methods and Results— TRENDS was a prospective, observational study enrolling patients with ≥1 stroke risk factor (heart failure, hypertension, age ≥65 years, diabetes, or prior TE) receiving pacemakers or defibrillators that monitor atrial tachycardia (AT)/AF burden (defined as the longest total AT/AF duration on any given day during the prior 30-day period). This time-varying exposure was updated daily during follow-up and related to TE risk. Annualized TE rates were determined according to AT/AF burden subsets: zero, low (<5.5 hours [median duration of subsets with nonzero burden]), and high (≥5.5 hours). A multivariate Cox model provided hazard ratios including terms for stroke risk factors and time-varying AT/AF burden and antithrombotic therapy. Patients (n=2486) had at least 30 days of device data for analysis. During a mean follow-up of 1.4 years, annualized TE risk (including transient ischemic attacks) was 1.1% for zero, 1.1% for low, and 2.4% for high burden subsets of 30-day windows. Compared with zero burden, adjusted hazard ratios (95% CIs) in the low and high burden subsets were 0.98 (0.34 to 2.82, P=0.97) and 2.20 (0.96 to 5.05, P=0.06), respectively.

Conclusions— The TE rate was low compared with patients with traditional AF with similar risk profiles. The data suggest that TE risk is a quantitative function of AT/AF burden. AT/AF burden ≥5.5 hours on any of 30 prior days appeared to double TE risk. Additional studies are needed to more precisely investigate the relationship between stroke risk and AT/AF burden.

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