Prior History of Falls and Risk of Outcomes in Atrial Fibrillation: The Loire Valley Atrial Fibrillation Project

Amitava Banerjee, Nicolas Clementy, Ken Haguenoer, Laurent Fauchier, Gregory Y.h. Lip

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34 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation are often denied oral anticoagulation due to falls risk. The latter is variably defined, and existing studies have not compared the associated risk of bleeding with other cardiovascular events. There are no data about outcomes in individuals with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation with a prior history of (actual) falls, rather than being “at risk of falls.” Our objective was to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular outcomes associated with prior history of falls in patients with atrial fibrillation in a contemporary “real world” cohort. Methods Patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation in a 4-hospital institution between 2000 and 2010 were included. Stroke/thromboembolism event rates were calculated according to prior history of falls. Risk factors were investigated by Cox regression. Results Among 7156 atrial fibrillation patients, prior history of falls/trauma was uncommon (n = 76; 1.1%). Compared with patients without history of falls, those patients were older and less likely to be on oral anticoagulation; they also had higher risk scores for stroke/thromboembolism but not for bleeding. Compared with no prior history of falls, rates of stroke/thromboembolism (P = .01) and all-cause mortality (P < .0001) were significantly higher in patients with previous falls. In multivariable analyses, prior history of falls was independently associated with stroke/thromboembolism (hazard ratio [HR] 5.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.1-12.6; P < .0001), major bleeding (HR 3.32 [1.23-8.91]; P = .02), and all-cause mortality (HR 3.69; 95% CI, 1.52-8.95; P = .04), but not hemorrhagic stroke (HR 4.20; 95% CI, 0.58-30.48; P = .16) in patients on oral anticoagulation. Conclusion In this large “real world” atrial fibrillation cohort, prior history of falls was uncommon but independently increased risk of stroke/thromboembolism, bleeding, and mortality, but not hemorrhagic stroke in the presence of anticoagulation. Prior history of (actual) falls may be a more clinically useful risk prognosticator than “being at risk of falls.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)972-978
Number of pages7
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Issue number10
Early online date12 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • bleeding
  • falls
  • stroke
  • thromboembolism


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