Background We addressed whether patients with a family history of atrial fibrillation (AF) were diagnosed as having AF earlier in life, were more symptomatic, and had worse outcomes compared with those without a family history of AF. Methods Using the ORBIT-AF, we compared symptoms and disease characteristics in those with and without a family history of AF. A family history of AF was defined as AF in a first-degree family member and obtained by patient self-reporting. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard analyses were performed to compare the incidence of cardiovascular outcomes, AF progression, all-cause hospitalization, and all-cause death. Results Among 9,999 patients with AF from 176 US outpatient clinics, 1,481 (14.8%) had a family history of AF. Relative to those without, those with a family history of AF developed AF 5 years earlier on average (median age 65 vs 70 years, P <.01), with less comorbidity, and had more severe AF-related symptoms. No differences were found between the 2 groups in the risk of AF progression (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.98, 95% CI 0.85-1.14), stroke, non-central nervous system embolism, or transient ischemic attack (adjusted HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.67-1.34), all-cause hospitalization (adjusted HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.94-1.12), and all-cause death (adjusted HR 1.05, 95% CI 0.86-1.27). Conclusions Patients with a family history of AF developed AF at a younger age, had less comorbidity, and were more symptomatic. Once AF developed, no significantly increased risks of AF progression and thromboembolism were associated with a family history of AF compared with no family history.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine