Atrial fibrillation (AF) occurs frequently in patients with COPD. There are limited data about the impact of AF in hospitalized COPD patients on other serious health outcomes, such as acute organ dysfunction, severe sepsis, and respiratory failure. The aim of our study was to delineate the impact of AF in hospitalized COPD patients.
We defined COPD populations with and without AF from the National Health Insurance database in Taiwan. The control subjects (patients with COPD without AF) were selected from the population of COPD patients who had no history of AF and were matched to the COPD patients with AF by age (±1 year), gender, and the year of COPD diagnosis (±1 year). The primary outcome was the time to any first event, which included acute organ dysfunction, severe sepsis, respiratory failure, and death during the hospitalization period. Secondary outcomes, which also included acute organ dysfunction, severe sepsis, respiratory failure, and death, were estimated separately over time.
The primary outcome probability was higher in COPD patients with AF than in COPD patients without AF, with an adjusted HR (aHR) of 1.169 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.034–1.320), and higher risks of acute organ dysfunction and respiratory failure were also observed in the former group, with aHRs of 1.179 (95% CI: 1.0370–1.339) and 1.176 (95% CI: 1.006–1.374), respectively.