HealthDay News — For patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF), cardiology care is associated with improved outcomes vs primary care, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.1,2

Alexander C. Perino, MD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues used data from 184,161 patients with newly diagnosed nonvalvular AF who had at least one outpatient encounter with primary care or cardiology within 90 days of diagnosis of AF (60% and 40%, respectively). The authors sought to examine the correlation between treating specialty and AF outcomes.

The researchers found that cardiology care correlated with significant reductions in stroke and death (hazard ratios [HR], 0.91 and 0.89, respectively) and with significant increases in hospitalizations for AF/supraventricular tachycardia and myocardial infarction (HRs, 1.38 and 1.03, respectively), after adjustment for covariates. Similar results were seen in the propensity-matched cohort. Oral anticoagulation prescription within 90 days of diagnosis may have mediated reductions in stroke, but did not impact survival in mediation analysis.

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“Although hypothesis-generating, these data warrant serious consideration and study of health care system interventions at the time of new AF diagnosis,” the authors wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


1. Perino AC, Fan J, Schmitt SK, et al. Treating specialty and outcomes in newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(1):78-86. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.04.054

2. Whang W. Opportunities to improve outcomes in atrial fibrillation. Provider specialty and beyond. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(1):87-88. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.003