2016 Volume 238 Issue 1 Pages 75-83
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is currently recognized as one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias worldwide, with the increasing prevalence that has been estimated to be as high as 9% among the elderly. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has become an important patient-centered health outcome measurement, but the impacts created by AF and other arrhythmias with similar symptoms, such as frequent atrial and ventricular premature contractions (APCs and VPCs, defined as ≥ 3 beats/5 minutes), have not been extensively evaluated. The Yilan Study is a population-based community health survey, which in part aims to evaluate the prevalence and impacts of these arrhythmias on the HRQoL in a community dwelling elderly population. A total of 1,732 citizens from the Yilan, Taiwan, aged 65 years or older (45.8% male) were enrolled and visited at their homes, where HRQoL was measured utilizing the Short Form-12 Health Survey. Each participant’s heart rhythm was recorded with an electrocardiographic monitor for 5 minutes. The results disclosed that the prevalence of AF of this aged population was 5.8%, similar to the mean global prevalence. Besides, the prevalence of frequent APCs and frequent VPCs in these elderly people were 7.1% and 5.5%, respectively. After multiple regression analysis, elderly people with AF had lower scores in the physical component of HRQoL, while those elderly people with frequent VPCs had lower scores in the mental component. Ultimately, these findings can provide additional useful and population-specific information about AF, and assist medical professionals in designing more effective strategies for cardiac arrhythmia treatments.