Prevalence and clinical significance of interatrial block in very older persons
The presence in older patients of an interatrial block (IAB) may be a predictor of atrial fibrillation (AF). The objective of the study was to assess in a group of very older participants: the prevalence of IAB, its association with the presence of functional and cognitive status, of new AF diagnosis and mortality after 2-year of follow-up.
A prospective subcohort of the OCTABAIX population-based study with 75 inhabitants, all 85-year-olds, at baseline in sinus rhythm were assessed. Functional and cognitive status, nutritional risk, and previous falls were recorded. Participants were classified according to the presence or absence of IAB.
23 patients had IAB (30.7%). We did not observe significant differences regarding gender, comorbidity, functional status, nutritional risk and global geriatric assessment according to interatrial conduction. The patients with IAB had statistically significant better cognitive performance (p = 0.029) and a lower number of previous falls (p = 0.008). During the 2 years follow-up 3 participants (4%) died; without statistical differences between both groups. A non-significant trend to a higher incidence of new-onset AF was observed in patients with IAB (8.7 vs. 6.1%; p = 0.652).
Nearly one-third of very older patients with sinus rhythm have IAB. They had a tendency to higher incidence of AF and no association with mortality after 2 years of follow-up.
KeywordsAtrial fibrillation Electrocardiogram Mortality Oldest old
Members of the Octabaix Study: J Almeda (Unitat de Suport a la Recerca de Costa de Ponent, IDIAP J Gol), T Badia (ABS Martorell Urbano), A Lobato (ABS Sant Andreu de la Barca), C Fernández (CAP Rambla), A Ferrer (CAP El Pla), F Formiga (UFISS de Geriatría, Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge), A Gil (ABS Sant Andreu de la Barca), MJ Megido (ABS Just Oliveras), G Padrós (Laboratori Clínic L’Hospitalet), M Sarró (CAP Florida Nord) and A Tobella (ABS Martorell Rural).
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the institutional ethics committee of the Jordi Gol Institute for Primary Care Research IDIAP.
All patients—or the caregivers for those cognitively impaired participants—gave their written informed consent before enrollment.
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