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 30, 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 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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