Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia and increases risk of ischemic stroke. Data on the prevalence of AF in Thailand is lacking especially in patients with hypertension. The objectives of this study were to determine prevalence of AF in patients with hypertension and to determine factors that are associated with increased prevalence of AF in a multicenter nationwide study.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey for the national outcome evaluation among hypertensive patients visiting 831 public hospitals in Thailand was conducted between 2011 and 2012 to evaluate status of standard care in hypertensive patients visiting public Thailand Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) hospitals. Inclusion criteria were hypertensive patients aged at least 20 years who had received medical care in the targeted hospital for at least 12 months. The main outcome measurement was AF rhythm, and was measured along with potential risk factors age, gender and cardiovascular risk factors.
Results: There were 13207 hypertensive patients who had ECG data recorded during the survey. AF was detected in 457 patients (3.46 %). Prevalence of AF increased with increasing age, was more common in males and in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Multivariable modelling was conducted to assess which factors were most associated with increased prevalence of AF, and the results showed older age followed by male gender, low LDL-cholesterol and increased uric acid levels were the most important risk factors for AF in this population.
Conclusions: Prevalence of AF in hypertensive patients was 3.46 %. Factors associated with increased risk of AF are old age, male gender, low LDL-cholesterol and elevated uric acid level.