Women with AF likely to die earlier than men

OLDER women with atrial fibrillation (AF) have a much greater reduction in life span than older men with the same condition, an Australian study suggests.

The unexpected finding from the longitudinal population-based Dubbo Study shows AF is a powerful risk factor for premature death and a highly significant public health issue, lead investigator Associate Professor Leon Simons said.

Researchers analysed all-cause mortality in a cohort of 2805 non-institutionalised Dubbo residents aged >60 years, finding that over a 20-year period AF was associated with reduced survival by 45 months in women and by 20 months in men. 

Professor Simons, director of the lipid research department at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, said while these findings were based on small numbers and required independent confirmation, they were concerning.

The study showed women with AF had a 127% greater risk of dying early than women without AF, while