Heart failure (HF) increases the risk of stroke and thrombo-embolism (TE) in non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), and is incorporated in stroke risk stratification scores. We aimed to establish the role of ejection fraction (EF) in risk prediction in patients with NVAF and HF.Methods and results
Patients with NVAF, history of HF, and measured EF were included in a retrospective analysis. Patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) were defined as those with clinical HF and EF ≥50% in this study. Among 7156 patients with NVAF, 1276 (17.8%) patients with HF and measured EF were included. Of these, 747/1276 (58.5%) patients were on vitamin K antagonists. The stroke/TE event rate per 100 person-years was 1.05 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87–1.25]. Patients with HFPEF were more likely to be female (P < 0.001), older (P < 0.001), and hypertensive (P < 0.001), and less likely to have prior vascular disease (P < 0.001). There were no differences in rates of stroke (P = 0.17) and stroke/TE (P = 0.11) between patients with HFPEF and those with HF and reduced EF. There were no significant differences in rates of all-cause mortality when patients were stratified by EF. In multivariate analyses, only previous stroke (hazard ratio 2.36, 95% CI 1.45–3.86) and vascular disease (1.57, 1.07–2.30) increased the risk of stroke/TE amongst NVAF patients with HF, but EF <35% did not (0.75, 0.44–1.30).Conclusion
In NVAF patients with HF, there were no differences in rates of stroke, TE, or death between EF categories. Only previous stroke and vascular disease (and not decreased EF) independently increased risk of stroke/TE in multivariate analyses.