Background and objectives: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia worldwide and a major risk factor for cardiovascular complications. Our study aimed to investigate the prevalence, risk factors, demographics, co-morbidities and treatment of AF among in-hospital Bulgarian patients. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study including 1027 consecutive patients (n
= 516, 50.2% males) with a mean age of 67.6 ± 11.3 years, hospitalized for any reason from 1 May until 31 December 2016 in one of the largest internal clinics in Bulgaria, was carried out. Results: Atrial fibrillation was diagnosed in 634 (61.7%) patients. The prevalence of modifiable AF risk factors was as follows: heart failure, 98.9%; arterial hypertension (HTN), 93.5%; valvular heart disease, 40.9%; chronic lung disease, 26.7%; type 2 diabetes mellitus, 24.9%; thyroid disease, 16.9%; and ischemic heart disease, 11.2%. Univariate logistic regression analysis identified the following risk factors with strongest impact on AF: left ventricular ejection fraction <40% (odds ratio (OR) = 1.951, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.208–3.151), valvular heart disease (OR = 1.926, 95% CI 1.134–3.862), left ventricular ejection fraction 40–49% (OR = 1.743, 95% CI 1.248–3.017), HTN (OR = 1.653, 95% CI 1.092–3.458). History of ischemic stroke was present in 14.4% of the patients with AF. Oral antithrombotic drugs were prescribed to 85.7%: direct oral anticoagulants to 37.9%, vitamin K antagonists to 43.2%, and antiplatelets to 4.6%. Heart rate control medications and antiarrhythmics were prescribed to 75.4% and 40.2%, respectively. Conclusions: Atrial fibrillation was highly prevalent among our study population. Reduced and mid-range left ventricular ejection fraction, valvular heart disease, and HTN were the risk factors with the strongest association with AF. Although a large number of our AF patients were administered antithrombotic treatment, the prescription rate of oral anticoagulants should be further improved.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited