Wändell PE, Carlsson AC, Sundquist J, Johansson SE, Bottai M, Sundquist K
Age Ageing 44 (2) 232-238 [2015-03-00; online 2014-10-16]
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiovascular morbidity, not least among elderly people, and is treated with different classes of cardiovascular pharmacotherapies. Cardiovascular drugs may have a different impact on survival in elderly patients with AF in primary health care. A cohort of 3,020 men and 3,749 women aged ≥75 and diagnosed with AF were selected from 75 primary care centres in Sweden. Laplace regression was used with years to death of the first 10% of the participants as the outcome. Independent variables were prescribed cardiovascular drugs. Regression models were adjusted for a propensity score comprising age, cardiovascular co-morbidities, socio-economic factors and other cardiovascular pharmacotherapies. Overall, mortality was 18.2%. The main finding of this study was survival increases associated with anticoagulants versus no treatment and versus antiplatelets of 1.95 years (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43-2.48) and 0.78 years (95% CI 0.38-1.18), respectively, and survival increases associated with thiazides and calcium channel blockers of 0.81 years (95% CI 0.43-1.18) and 0.83 years (95% CI 0.47-1.18), respectively, in men and women together (results from sex-adjusted models). Our findings suggest that anticoagulants, thiazides and calcium channel blockers may lead to longer survival in elderly patients with AF.