Journal Article

Increased Atrial Fibrillation Mortality: United States, 1980–1998

Wendy A. Wattigney, George A. Mensah and Janet B. Croft

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 155, issue 9, pages 819-826
Published in print May 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online May 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/155.9.819
Increased Atrial Fibrillation Mortality: United States, 1980–1998

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The authors used death certificate data to evaluate national trends in the reporting of atrial fibrillation as an underlying or contributory cause of death for groups defined by age (45 years or older), sex, and race (Black vs. White) and to examine comorbidity. The multiple-causes mortality files from 1980 through 1998 were analyzed for decedents, with atrial fibrillation (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, code 427.3) listed as one of up to 20 conditions causing death. The number of decedents with atrial fibrillation increased from 18,947 in 1980 to 61,946 in 1998, and the proportion with atrial fibrillation reported as the underlying cause of death rose from 8.3% in 1980 to 11.6% in 1998. Age-standardized death rates from 1980 to 1998 were consistently highest among White men, followed (in descending order) by White women, Black men, and Black women. Overall, the age-standardized rate (per 100,000) increased from 27.6 in 1980 to 69.8 in 1998 (an average annual increase of 5.4%, p < 0.0001). Ischemic heart disease was the most frequent underlying cause of death among decedents with atrial fibrillation (26.8%). These findings emphasize the need for increased application of proven prevention and control measures to decrease associated cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation; atrial flutter; cardiovascular diseases; death; heart diseases; ICD-9, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision

Journal Article.  4514 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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