Heart failure (HF) is classified into three clinical subtypes: HF with a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF: EF ≥ 50%), HF with a mid-range ejection fraction (HFmrEF: 40 ≤ EF < 49%), and HF with a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF: EF < 40%). These types often coexist with atrial fibrillation (AF). We investigated the rate of strokes/systemic embolisms (SSEs) in AF patients with HFpEF (AF-HFpEF) compared to that in those with HFrEF (AF-HFrEF: HFmrEF and HFrEF), and examined the independent predictors. We prospectively enrolled 1350 patients admitted to our hospital for worsening HF. We identified 301 patients with either AF-HFpEF (n = 129, 43%) or AF-HFrEF (n = 172, 57%). Compared to the patients with AF-HFrEF, those with AF-HFpEF were older and more likely to be female. Oral anticoagulant use was 63 vs. 66%, respectively. During a mean follow-up period of 26 months, 21 (7%) and 66 (22%) patients had SSEs and all-cause death, respectively. The crude annual rates of SSEs (3.9 vs. 2.7%, P = 0.47) were similar between the groups. In a multivariate Cox regression analysis, an age ≥ 75 years (hazard ratio 2.14, 95% confidence interval 1.32–3.58, P < 0.01) and the plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) level ≥ 341 pg/ml (hazard ratio 1.60, 95% confidence interval 1.07–2.39, P < 0.05) were associated with SSEs. The EF was not an independent predictor of SSEs (hazard ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.98–1.04, P = 0.51). There were no significant differences in the rates of SSEs between AF-HFpEF and AF-HFrEF. Patients with HF and concomitant AF should be treated with anticoagulants irrespective of EF.
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