Background: Death in dialysis patients results mainly from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. To our knowledge, no prospective study has compared the rates of mortality or cardiovascular events between patients with and without atrial fibrillation (AF) at the time of dialysis initiation. Methods: This study included 1,516 patients who were initiated into dialysis between October 2011 and August 2013. Rates of mortality and cardiovascular events were compared between patients with and without AF, and between AF patients with and without warfarin (WF) treatment. Results: The study comprised 1,025 men and 491 women with a mean age of 67.5 ± 13.1. Of these patients, 93 had AF, while 1,423 did not; 22.6% of the former group and 9.7% of the latter group died by March 2014 (p < 0.01). Cardiovascular events occurred in 34.4% of patients with AF and 15.1% of patients without (p < 0.01). Even after adjustments for various factors, AF remained an independent risk factor for mortality (hazard ratio (HR) 1.873, 95% CI 1.168-3.002, p < 0.01). It was also an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events (HR 1.872, 95% CI 1.262-2.778, p < 0.01). No difference in any parameter was noted between the groups that did and did not receive WF treatment. Conclusion: Patients with AF at the time of dialysis initiation show a poor prognosis and are at high risk of cardiovascular events. Therefore, AF should be taken into consideration in dialysis patients.
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