Introduction: Catheter ablation procedures are utilized for rhythm control of atrial fibrillation (AF) but the utilization of this procedure based on gender remains uncertain.
Purpose: We investigated trends in admissions due to AF and utilization of AF ablation, based on gender.
Methods: The 2000-2013 National Inpatient Sample (NIS) was analyzed for hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of AF. Patient-related factors associated with higher likelihood of hospitalization due to AF and utilization of ablation, based on gender, were analyzed.
Results: 44,721,327 adults with known AF were hospitalized (48.9% males and 51.1% females), of which, 5,246,711 (11.7%) were admitted primarily due to AF (47.3% males and 52.7% females, p < 0.001). Of these patients admitted primarily for AF, ablation procedures were performed in 118,055 (2.3%) patients. The proportion who underwent ablation during an admission for AF, was higher in males vs. females (3.06% vs 1.52%, p < 0.001). There is a rising trend of ablation procedures among patients admitted due to AF: 0.5% in the year 2000 to 2.91% in 2013 (p trend < 0.001). The difference in the proportion of male vs. female patients having ablation has increased from 0.13% in the year 2000 to 1.53% in the year 2013. On multivariable analysis, adjusting for relevant patient-related factors, the likelihood of females being hospitalized primarily for AF was still higher than males (OR: 1.23, p < 0.001). However, adjusting for the same patient-related factors, the likelihood of females undergoing ablation, during admission for AF remained lower than males (OR: 0.59, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: For patients hospitalized due to AF, ablation of AF is being increasingly utilized. Female patients are more likely to get hospitalized due to AF but less likely to undergo ablation than males.