Paradoxically, the risks are higher in patients with atrial fibrillation without symptoms than in patients with paroxysmal fibrillation with a much more dramatic symptom.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) can often be asymptomatic, which poses diagnostic difficulties and risks of morbidity and mortality. Paroxysmal AF (FAP) is also an intermittent cardiac rhythm disorder, but resolves without medical intervention and lasts less than seven days. In a study published in the journal CHEST®, the researchers found that asymptomatic AFP patients are likely to be older, male and have a higher risk of stroke than symptomatic patients. In an analysis of a group with sustained AF, the prevalence of stroke risk was similar in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.
Differences in profile
During the follow-up period, the researchers found that all-cause mortality was higher in asymptomatic patients than in symptomatic patients, but only in the paroxysmal group. This study also established lower clinical outcomes in asymptomatic patients compared to other patients' clinical outcomes.
Although research has several limitations - data from only one urban district in Japan - researchers say lessons can be learned. Despite these limitations, our study highlights differences in clinical profile and outcomes between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, welcomes lead author Masaharu Akao. Current data also showed that asymptomatic patients with APF may not receive adequate treatment. "Thus, early detection and more intensive medical management of these patients are recommended.