Background - Instruments to assess symptom burden and quality of life among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have not been well evaluated in community practice or associated with patient outcomes. Methods and Results - Using data from 10 087 AF patients in the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of AF (ORBIT-AF), symptom severity was evaluated using the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) classification system, and quality of life was assessed using the Atrial Fibrillation Effect on Quality-of-Life (AFEQT) questionnaire. The association between AF-related symptoms, quality of life, and outcomes was assessed using Cox regression. The majority of AF patients (61.8%) were symptomatic (EHRA >2) and 16.5% had severe or disabling symptoms (EHRA 3-4). EHRA symptom class was well correlated with the AFEQT score (Spearman correlation coefficient -0.39). Over 1.8 years of follow-up, AF symptoms were associated with a higher risk of hospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio for EHRA ≥2 versus EHRA 1 1.23, 95% confidence interval, 1.15-1.31) and a borderline higher risk of major bleeding. Lower quality of life was associated with a higher risk of hospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio for lowest quartile of AFEQT versus highest 1.49, 95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.84), but not other major adverse events, including death. Conclusions - In a community-based study, most patients with AF were symptomatic and had impaired quality of life. Quality of life measured by the AFEQT correlated closely with symptom severity measured by the EHRA class. AF symptoms and lower quality of life were associated with higher risk of hospitalization but not mortality during follow-up.
- atrial fibrillation
- quality of life
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine