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      The impact of atrial fibrillation in patients with COPD during hospitalization

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          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.


          Compared with COPD patients without AF, those with AF had a higher risk of hepatic dysfunction and respiratory failure.

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          Most cited references 24

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          A population-based study of the long-term risks associated with atrial fibrillation: 20-year follow-up of the Renfrew/Paisley study.

          To describe the effect of atrial fibrillation on long-term morbidity and mortality. The Renfrew/Paisley Study surveyed 7052 men and 8354 women aged 45-64 years between 1972 and 1976. All hospitalizations and deaths occurring during the subsequent 20 years were analyzed by the presence or absence of atrial fibrillation at baseline. Lone atrial fibrillation was defined in the absence of other cardiovascular signs or symptoms. Cox proportional hazards models were used to adjust for age and cardiovascular conditions. After 20 years, 42 (89%) of the 47 women with atrial fibrillation had a cardiovascular event (death or hospitalization), compared with 2276 (27%) of the 8307 women without this arrhythmia. Among men, 35 (66%) of 53 with atrial fibrillation had an event, compared with 3151 (45%) of 6999 without atrial fibrillation. In women, atrial fibrillation was an independent predictor of cardiovascular events (rate ratio [RR] = 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.1-4.2), fatal or nonfatal strokes (RR = 3.2; 95% CI: 1.0-5.0), and heart failure (RR = 3.4; 95% CI: 1.9-6.2). The rate ratios among men were 1.8 (95% CI: 1.3-2.5) for cardiovascular events, 2.5 (95% CI: 1.3-4.8) for strokes, and 3.4 (95% CI: 1.7-6.8) for heart failure. Atrial fibrillation was an independent predictor of all-cause mortality in women (RR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.5-3.2) and men (RR = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.2-2.2). However, lone atrial fibrillation (which occurred in 15 subjects) was not associated with a statistically significant increase in either cardiovascular events (RR = 1.5; 95% CI: 0.6-3.6) or mortality (RR = 1.8; 95% CI: 0.9-3.8). Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased long-term risk of stroke, heart failure, and all-cause mortality, especially in women.
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            Validation of Acute Myocardial Infarction Cases in the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan

            Background The aim of this study was to determine the validity of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) diagnosis coding in the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) by cross-comparisons of discharge diagnoses listed in the NHIRD with those in the medical records obtained from a medical center in Taiwan. Methods This was a cross-sectional study comparing records in the NHIRD and discharge notes in one medical center (DNMC) in the year 2008. Positive predictive values (PPVs) for AMI diagnoses were evaluated by reviewing the relevant clinical and laboratory data recorded in the discharge notes of the medical center. Agreement in comorbidities, cardiac procedures, and antiplatelet agent (aspirin or clopidogrel) prescriptions between the two databases was evaluated. Results We matched 341 cases of AMI hospitalizations from the two databases, and 338 cases underwent complete chart review. Of these 338 AMI cases, 297 were confirmed with clinical and lab data, which yielded a PPV of 0.88. The consistency rate for coronary intervention, stenting, and antiplatelet prescription at admission was high, yielding a PPV over 0.90. The percentage of consistency in comorbidity diagnoses was 95.9% (324/338) among matched AMI cases. Conclusions The NHIRD appears to be a valid resource for population research in cardiovascular diseases.
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              Mortality trends in patients diagnosed with first atrial fibrillation: a 21-year community-based study.

              The purpose of this study was to assess the mortality trends of atrial fibrillation (AF) in a community. Limited data exist regarding the mortality trends of patients diagnosed with first AF. A community-based cohort of adult residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, who had electrocardiogram-confirmed first-documented AF in the years 1980 to 2000 were identified and followed to 2004 or death. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Of a total of 4,618 residents (mean age 73 +/- 14 years) diagnosed with first AF, 3,085 died during a mean follow-up of 5.3 +/- 5.0 years. Relative to the age- and gender-matched general Minnesota population, the mortality risk was increased (p < 0.0001) with a hazard ratio (HR) of 9.62 (95% confidence interval [CI] 8.93 to 10.32) within the first 4 months and 1.66 (95% CI 1.59 to 1.73) thereafter. Cox proportional hazards modeling showed no change in overall age- and gender-adjusted mortality (HR for the year 2000 vs. 1980: 0.99; 95% CI 0.86 to 1.13; p = 0.84), even after adjustment for comorbidities. In secondary analyses, no changes in mortality were seen for early (within first 4 months) or late (after 4 months) mortality for the entire group or within the subgroup of patients who did not have cardiovascular disease at baseline. In this cohort of patients newly diagnosed with AF, mortality risk was high, especially within the first 4 months. There was no evidence for any significant changes over the 21 years in terms of overall mortality, early or late mortality, or mortality among patients without pre-existing cardiovascular disease.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                10 July 2018
                : 13
                : 2105-2112
                [1 ]Master Program in Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
                [2 ]Department of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
                [3 ]Department of Medical Research, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
                [4 ]Department of Internal Medicine, Chi Mei Medical Center, Chiali, Tainan, Taiwan, abc8870@
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Kuang-Ming Liao, Department of Internal Medicine, Chi Mei Medical Center, Chiali 722, Taiwan, Email abc8870@
                © 2018 Chen and Liao. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                sepsis, respiratory failure, copd, acute organ dysfunction, atrial fibrillation


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