European Geriatric Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 155–159 | Cite as

Prevalence and clinical significance of interatrial block in very older persons

  • Francesc Formiga
  • Carmen Guerrero
  • Assumpta Ferrer
  • Gloria Padrós
  • Albert Ariza
Research Paper



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.


Atrial 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.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the institutional ethics committee of the Jordi Gol Institute for Primary Care Research IDIAP.

Informed consent

All patients—or the caregivers for those cognitively impaired participants—gave their written informed consent before enrollment.


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesc Formiga
    • 1
  • Carmen Guerrero
    • 2
  • Assumpta Ferrer
    • 3
  • Gloria Padrós
    • 4
  • Albert Ariza
    • 2
  1. 1.Geriatric Unit, Internal Medicine Department, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, IDIBELLHospital Universitari de BellvitgeL’Hospitalet de LlobregatSpain
  2. 2.Cardiology Service, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, IDIBELLHospital Universitari de BellvitgeL’Hospitalet de LlobregatSpain
  3. 3.Primary Care Centre “El Plà”, Direcció d’Atenció Primària Costa de PonentInstitut Català de la SalutSant Feliu de LlobregatSpain
  4. 4.South Metropolitan Clinical Laboratory, Direcció d’Atenció Primària Costa de PonentInstitut Català de la SalutL’Hospitalet de LlobregatSpain

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