Characteristics and Outcomes of Atrial Fibrillation in Chronic Heart Failure Patients: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Colombian Heart Failure Registry

Alex Rivera-Toquica, Clara Saldarriaga, Jannes Buelvas-Herazo, Balkis Rolong, Fernando Manzur-Jatin, Jose Ignacio Mosquera-Jimenez, Oscar Alfredo Pacheco-Jimenez, Alvaro Hernan Rodriguez-Ceron, Patricia Rodriguez-Gomez, Fernando Rivera-Toquica, Guillermo Trout-Guardiola G, Marco Antonio De Leon-Espitia, Edgar Eduardo Castro-Osorio, Luis Eduardo Echeverria, Juan Esteban Gomez-Mesa


Background: Heart failure (HF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) represent conditions that commonly coexist. The impact of AF in HF has yet to be well studied in Latin America. This study aimed to characterize the sociodemographic and clinical features, along with patients outcomes with AF and HF from the Colombian Heart Failure Registry (RECOLFACA).

Methods: Patients with ambulatory HF and AF were included in RECOLFACA, mainly with persistent or permanent AF. A 6-month follow-up was performed. Primary outcome was all-cause mortality. To assess the impact of AF on mortality, we used a logistic regression model. A P value of < 0.05 was considered significant. All statistical tests were two-tailed.

Results: Of 2,528 patients with HF in the registry, 2,514 records included information regarding AF diagnosis. Five hundred sixty (22.3%) were in AF (mean age 73 11, 56% men), while 1,954 had no AF (mean age 66 14 years, 58% men). Patients with AF were significantly older and had a different profile of comorbidities and implanted devices compared to non-AF patients. Moreover, AF diagnosis was associated with lower quality of life score (EuroQol-5D), mainly in mobility, personal care, and daily activity. AF was prevalent in patients with preserved ejection fraction (EF), while no significant differences in N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels were observed. Although higher mortality was observed in the AF group compared to individuals without AF (8.9% vs. 6.1%, respectively; P = 0.016), this association lost statistical significance after adjusting by age in a multivariate regression model (odds ratio (OR): 1.35; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.95 - 1.92).

Conclusions: AF is more prevalent in HF patients with higher EF, lower quality of life and different clinical profiles. Similar HF severity and non-independent association with mortality were observed in our cohort. These results emphasize the need for an improved understanding of the AF and HF coexistence phenomenon.

Cardiol Res. 2024;15(1):37-46


Heart Failure; Atrial fibrillation; Ejection fraction; Mortality; Registry; Comorbidity; Colombia; Treatment

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Cardiology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1923-2829 (print), 1923-2837 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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