Low serum albumin levels and new-onset atrial fibrillation in the ICU: a prospective cohort study

Dianne E C van Beek*, Yvette A M Kuijpers, Marc H H Königs, Iwan C C van der Horst, Thomas W L Scheeren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: The aim was to determine if a low serum albumin (SA) level was associated with the occurrence of new onset atrial fibrillation (NOAF) during the first 48 h of intensive care unit (ICU) admission.

METHODS: Overall, 97 patients admitted to the ICU were included in this prospective study. NOAF during the first 48 h was defined as irregularity and absence of p-waves on the continuous electrocardiogram, lasting longer than 2 min. Association were analysed using logistic regression with correction for confounding variables in multivariable analysis.

RESULTS: The incidence of NOAF during the first 48 h of ICU admission was 18%. SA levels at ICU admission were significantly associated with NOAF after correction for confounders (odds ratio [OR] 0.86, 95%CI 0.77-0.97, p = .010). SA levels were also significantly associated with the number of episodes of NOAF in multivariate analysis (-0.09 episodes, 95%CI [-0.15/-0.04], p = .001), but not with the presence of sinus rhythm at 48 h (OR 1.05, 95%CI [0.93-1.12], p = .46).

CONCLUSION: In this small hypothesis generating study low levels of SA were associated with the occurrence of NOAF. It remains to be shown if increasing SA levels lowers the incidence of NOAF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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