Idiopathic atrial fibrillation revisited in a large longitudinal clinical cohort

Bob Weijs*, Ron Pisters, Robby Nieuwlaat, Guenter Breithardt, Jean-Yves Le Heuzey, Panos E. Vardas, Ione Limantoro, Ulrich Schotten, Gregory Y. H. Lip, Harry J. G. M. Crijns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims An age of 60 years is often used as cut-off for the diagnosis of idiopathic atrial fibrillation (AF). We investigated the importance of age and atrial size in patients with idiopathic AF and AF patients with isolated hypertension. Methods and results Out of 3978 AF patients in the Euro Heart Survey on AF with known follow-up, 119 (3%) patients had idiopathic AF. We disregarded age and atrial size when selecting idiopathic AF patients since the atria may enlarge by AF itself. For comparison, we selected 152 patients with isolated hypertension from the database. A total of 57 (48%) of the patients were older than 60 years. Persistent or permanent AF was more prevalent in the older idiopathic AF patients (34% in the age 60 years group, P = 0.002) but mean duration of known AF did not differ between these groups [310 days (inter-quartile range, IQR) 60-1827) vs. 430 days (IQR 88-1669), P = 0.824]. Left atrial size did not differ significantly in relation to age (1.50 +/- 0.29 mm/kg/m(2) in the age
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-190
JournalEP Europace
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Idiopathic atrial fibrillation
  • Prevalence
  • Definition

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