Atrial fibrillation is the commonest sustained cardiac arrhythmia seen in clinical practice, and becomes increasingly more prevalent with ageing. However, an increasing number of young adults are now seen with atrial fibrillation, and we set out to determine age and gender distribution of adults with atrial fibrillation admitted for heart failure, and the common aetiologic agents in each age group.Design and Method:
The case notes of all adults admitted for heart failure from April 2011 to March 2012 at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria, were reviewed. All patients with atrial fibrillation were included in the study. Age, gender, echocardiographic findings, and other ECG findings were documented.Results:
A total of 41 adults admitted for heart failure from April 2011 to March 2012 had atrial fibrillation, comprising 21 males and 20 females. The age range was from 20 – 83 years, with a mean age of 61.8 ± 12.6 years. Six were in the young (<40 years); thirteen in middle-aged (40 -64 years); twenty two in the elderly (≥65 years). Rheumatic mitral valve disease was the commonest aetiologic agent in the young, while hypertension was the commonest in middle-aged and elderly patients. In the young, atrial fibrillation was more prevalent in the females, while more males were affected in the elderly age group.Conclusions:
Rheumatic mitral valve disease and hypertension are the commonest aetiologic agents for atrial fibrillation in adults admitted for heart failure in Enugu, South-East Nigeria, and 15% of all cases of atrial fibrillation in our study are in the young.