Risk factors and outcomes of new-onset atrial fibrillation in patients hospitalized in an internal medicine ward: a case–control study

  • Ombretta Para
  • Lorenzo CarusoEmail author
  • Lorenzo Corbo
  • Francesca Bacci
  • Niccolò Pasqui
  • Filippo Pieralli
  • Tiziana Ciarambino
  • Carlo Nozzoli


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a frequent pathology in Internal Medicine departments. The aim of our study was to identify the risk factors associated with the development of new-onset AF during hospitalization and to evaluate its outcome as in-hospital mortality. We conducted a retrospective case–control study on a cohort of 14,179 patients admitted to an internal medicine department. We included in the study the patients who did not have an anamnestic history of AF, who presented a sinus rhythm at the time of admission and who developed a new-onset AF during hospitalization. For each of these cases, two controls were enrolled who were not affected by AF. The patients included in the study were 588, including 196 cases and 392 controls. Patients who developed AF during hospitalization had significantly more comorbidity than controls. The most frequent causes for hospitalization were sepsis, significantly higher in the case group. From the results of the multivariate analysis, the factors related independently to the development of AF were the presence of a number of comorbidities ≥ 3 (OR = 1.52; p = 0.017), sepsis as a reason of hospitalization (OR = 2, 16; p = 0.001) and glycemic value at the admission ≥ 130 mg/dL (OR = 1.44; p = 0.047). Both the length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality were higher in the group of patients who developed AF, with a statistically significant difference compared to controls (p < 0.001).


New-onset atrial fibrillation Atrial fibrillation Risk factors Hospitalized patients 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

All the procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

This is a retrospective study that include anonymized patients extracted from hospital database; data are presented aggregated and anonymously. No informed consent was taken.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Medicina Interna (SIMI) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medicina per la Complessità Assistenziale 1Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria CareggiFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Presidio Ospedaliero MarcianiseUnità Operativa Complessa di Medicina Interna, ASL CasertaCasertaItaly

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