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American Indians are at higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) compared to other racial and ethnic groups, according to new research published in the journal Circulation. The higher frequency of atrial fibrillation in this population group persisted after controlling for other factors such as age, sex, income and cardiovascular and other diseases.
The retrospective observational study reviewed 300,000 new cases of AF treated in an emergency department, inpatient hospital or ambulatory surgery clinic between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2011, in California. Nearly 400,000 patients were excluded due to pre-existing AFib.
- Among American Indians, new AF cases occurred, on average, 7.5 times per year per every thousand patients.
- Among other racial and ethnic groups, new AF cases occurred on average 6.9 times per year per every thousand patients among American Indians.
AF is the new global epidemic. Incidentally detected atrial fibrillation in asymptomatic and ambulatory patients is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke, MI and all–cause mortality. Often, the first manifestation of AF may be a stroke.
The American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Heart Rhythm Society also states that clinically unrecognized and asymptomatic AF is a potentially important cause of stroke and recommends efforts at early detection of AF in at–risk individuals.
(Source: Excerpts from American Heart Association)
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA