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  • relative risk of stroke in rheumatic heart disease with atrial fibrillation was 17.6 times higher than in normal controls
  • atrial fibrillation associated with non-rheumatic heart disease was associated with a 5.6 times increase in risk of stroke relative to normal controls
  • the risk of stroke for lone atrial fibrillation was 4 times normal controls
    • comorbidities significantly modulate progression and complications of atrial fibrillation. Age or development of hypertension increases thromboembolic risk (2)
  • risk of embolization in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation is uncertain
  • female sex in patients with AF without rheumatic heart disease is associated with a higher risk of stroke
  • underlying heart disease increases the risk of stroke in non-rheumatic atrial fibrillation
  • up to 20% of patients with atrial fibrillation and a stroke will have a second stroke within one year
  • a third of patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation develop chronic atrial fibrillation over two to three years
  • in a follow-up of the Framingham study, atrial fibrillation was independently associated with a 50-90% increase in the risk of death
    • Ponamgi et al have stated that atrial fibrillation is associated with a nearly twofold excess risk of all cause mortality (3)


Last edited 04/2021 and last reviewed 05/2021