Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Specific heart contractions could predict atrial fibrillation

Date:
December 2, 2013
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
A commonly used heart monitor may be a simple tool for predicting the risk of atrial fibrillation, the most frequently diagnosed type of irregular heart rhythm, according to researchers.

A commonly used heart monitor may be a simple tool for predicting the risk of atrial fibrillation, the most frequently diagnosed type of irregular heart rhythm, according to researchers at UC San Francisco.

In a study to be published in the December 3, 2013 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers discovered that patients who have more premature atrial contractions (PACs) detected by a routine 24-hour Holter monitor have a substantially higher risk for atrial fibrillation. PACs are premature heartbeats which originate in the atria, or the two upper chambers of the heart. A Holter monitor is a portable electronic device used to continuously monitor the electrical activity of a person's heart.

"We sought to determine how well PACs predict atrial fibrillation compared to an established but substantially more complex prediction model derived from the Framingham Heart Study," said senior author Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, an associate professor of medicine who specializes in electrophysiology in the UCSF Division of Cardiology. "Because PACs may themselves have a causal relationship with atrial fibrillation, it is theoretically possible that their eradication, such as through drugs or a catheter ablation procedure, could actually modify atrial fibrillation risk."

People who have atrial fibrillation may not show any symptoms, but the condition can increase one's risk of heart failure or stroke. Atrial fibrillation occurs when rapid, random electrical signals cause the atria to contract irregularly and quickly.

Marcus and his colleagues studied a random sample of individuals 65 years and older who underwent 24-hour Holter monitoring as part of the national Cardiovascular Health Study from 1989 and 1990. In the subset of 1,260 participants without previously diagnosed atrial fibrillation, those who had a higher PAC count -- or more contractions -- had an 18 percent increased risk for developing atrial fibrillation.

They then compared their results with the Framingham Heart Study model, which uses information including body mass index (derived from height and weight), demographic information, past medical history, and data from electrocardiograms to calculate risk prediction.

"We found that the PAC count by itself was as good as or better than the Framingham model in discriminating those who would, versus would not, ultimately develop atrial fibrillation," Marcus said.

"While this study holds promise regarding both a relatively simple and powerful measure to predict atrial fibrillation and may provide some clues regarding specific strategies that might actually work to prevent the disease, it is important to emphasize that this study was not designed to prove a causal link between PACs and new-onset atrial fibrillation," Marcus said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas A. Dewland, Eric Vittinghoff, Mala C. Mandyam, Susan R. Heckbert, David S. Siscovick, Phyllis K. Stein, Bruce M. Psaty, Nona Sotoodehnia, John S. Gottdiener, Gregory M. Marcus. Atrial Ectopy as a Predictor of Incident Atrial Fibrillation. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2013; 159 (11): 721 DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-159-11-201312030-00004

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Specific heart contractions could predict atrial fibrillation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202171922.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2013, December 2). Specific heart contractions could predict atrial fibrillation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202171922.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Specific heart contractions could predict atrial fibrillation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202171922.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins