Prevalence and outcomes of atrial fibrillation in older people living in care homes in Wales: a routine data linkage study 2003-2018

Leona A. Ritchie, Stephanie L. Harrison, Peter E. Penson, Ashley Akbari, Fatemeh Torabi, Joe Hollinghurst, Daniel Harris, Oluwakayode B. Oke, Asangaedem Akpan, Julian P. Halcox, Sarah E. Rodgers, Gregory Y.H. Lip, Deirdre A. Lane

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine atrial fibrillation (AF) prevalence and temporal trends, and examine associations between AF and risk of adverse health outcomes in older care home residents. Methods: Retrospective cohort study using anonymised linked data from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank on CARE home residents in Wales with AF (SAIL CARE-AF) between 2003 and 2018. Fine-Gray competing risk models were used to estimate the risk of health outcomes with mortality as a competing risk. Cox regression analyses were used to estimate the risk of mortality. Results: There were 86,602 older care home residents (median age 86.0 years [interquartile range 80.8-90.6]) who entered a care home between 2003 and 2018. When the pre-care home entry data extraction was standardised, the overall prevalence of AF was 17.4% (95% confidence interval 17.1-17.8) between 2010 and 2018. There was no significant change in the age- and sex-standardised prevalence of AF from 16.8% (15.9-17.9) in 2010 to 17.0% (16.1-18.0) in 2018. Residents with AF had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.27 [1.17-1.37], P < 0.001), all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 1.14 [1.11-1.17], P < 0.001), ischaemic stroke (adjusted sub-distribution HR 1.55 [1.36-1.76], P < 0.001) and cardiovascular hospitalisation (adjusted sub-distribution HR 1.28 [1.22-1.34], P < 0.001). Conclusions: Older care home residents with AF have an increased risk of adverse health outcomes, even when higher mortality rates and other confounders are accounted for. This re-iterates the need for appropriate oral anticoagulant prescription and optimal management of cardiovascular co-morbidities, irrespective of frailty status and predicted life expectancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberafac252
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • care homes
  • health outcomes
  • older people
  • prevalence
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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