The Atrial fibrillation Better Care (ABC) pathway and cardiac complications in atrial fibrillation: a potential sex-based difference. The ATHERO-AF study

Daniele Pastori, Danilo Menichelli, Francesco Violi, Pasquale Pignatelli, Gregory Y H Lip
European Journal of Internal Medicine 2020 December 21

BACKGROUND: An integrated care approach is recommended to optimize management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). The impact of the Atrial fibrillation Better Care (ABC) pathway on major adverse cardiac events (MACE), which are the main causes of death in AF, has not been explored.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We investigated the association between ABC compliance and MACE incidence in 1157 (2690 patient-years) nonvalvular AF patients from the ATHERO-AF study. A subgroup analysis by sex and high cardiovascular risk patients as defined by a 2MACE score ≥3 was performed.

RESULTS: Overall, 428 (37%) patients composed the ABC-compliant group. During a median follow up of 23 (IQR 12-37) months, 64 MACE occurred (2.38%/year). Kaplan Meier curve analysis showed a higher rate of MACE in ABC non-compliant group compared to the ABC-compliant (log-rank test p=0.006). The risk of MACE increased by the number of non-fulfilled ABC criteria. On multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis, the ABC non-compliance was associated with an increased risk of MACE (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.244, 95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) 1.129-4.462). Men were more likely to have suboptimal anticoagulation control (group A), while uncontrolled symptoms were more frequent in women. The association between non-ABC and MACE was more evident in men than women (HR 3.647, 95%CI 1.294-10.277) and in patients with 2MACE score ≥3 (HR 1.728, 95%CI 1.209-2.472).

CONCLUSION: An integrated care ABC approach is associated with a reduced risk of MACE in the AF population, especially in men and in patients at high risk of MACE.

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