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Title: Atrial fibrillation and frailty : an observational cohort study using electronic healthcare records
Author: Wilkinson, Christopher Graham
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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Atrial fibrillation is common in older people, and is associated with increased mortality and stroke. Patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF) also commonly have frailty, which is associated with increased risk of a range of further adverse clinical outcomes. However, there is a lack of evidence on the burden and management of AF in people with frailty. A study using the primary care electronic health records of 536,955 patients aged ≥65 years was conducted to investigate the burden of frailty and AF amongst older people, and their associations with clinical outcomes. A systematic review and meta-analysis was completed to establish the current knowledge base, and to inform the quantitative analyses. Baseline characteristics were described and compared between those with and without AF as well as by frailty category according to the electronic frailty index. Rates of all-cause mortality, stroke, bleeding (intracranial and gastrointestinal), transient ischaemic attack (TIA), and falls were calculated per 1000 person-years, and compared with the non-AF patient population. Cox proportional hazards modelling was used to determine unadjusted and adjusted risk for each clinical outcome and mortality, and presented as hazard ratios (HR) alongside 95% confidence intervals. The association between oral anticoagulation (OAC) prescription stratified by frailty category with clinical outcomes was investigated using Cox proportional hazards modelling. At baseline, 61,177 (11.4%) patients had AF. People with AF had a higher burden of frailty than those without (89.5% vs. 55.3%) and had higher rates of mortality, stroke, TIA and bleeding. Of patients with AF and eligible for OAC, it was prescribed in 53.1% (41.7% in robust, mild frailty 53.2%, moderate 55.6%, severe 53.4%). OAC was associated with a 19% reduction in all-cause mortality (HR 0.81, 95%CI 0.77-0.85) and 22% reduction in stroke (HR 0.78, 0.67-0.92). There was no statistically significant difference in rates of bleeding between those prescribed and not prescribed OAC. For the first time in a large representative cohort of older people, this study quantified the burden of AF and frailty, and their association with a range of clinical outcomes. This study found no evidence that OAC should be withheld on the basis of concomitant frailty.
Supervisor: Hall, Marlous ; Clegg, Andrew ; Gale, Chris P. Sponsor: York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available